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Updated: 2 hours 49 min ago

World: CrisisWatch No. 155, 1 July 2016

5 hours 27 min ago
Source: International Crisis Group Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

Global Overview – Trends and Outlook

While an upsurge of crises continued to test the international order, amid growing mass displacement and the spread of transnational terrorism, the UK's divisive vote on 23 June in favour of leaving the European Union brought a new dimension to global political and economic uncertainty. Jean-Marie Guéhenno, President & CEO of the International Crisis Group, said: “the Brexit crisis increases the risk of an inward-looking EU consumed with sorting out its own problems at a time when the world needs a Europe that is globally engaged".

The month saw security deteriorate in several countries in Africa. In South Sudan fighting escalated and the peace deal threatened to unravel, while Boko Haram increased deadly attacks in Niger. Insecurity also rose in Nigeria’s Niger Delta where militants fighting for a greater share of the region’s oil revenues stepped up attacks on oil and gas facilities, and communal and criminal violence spiked in the Central African Republic. In Turkey, a terrorist attack believed to be the work of Islamic State killed more than 40 people on 28 June. In a significant step forward, Colombia’s government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed agreements bringing the 52-year armed conflict closer to an end.

In South Sudan, fighting erupted in several places and conflict parties failed to make progress in implementing the peace deal signed in August 2015, instead appearing to prepare for a return to war. Forces allied to the former rebels, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition led by Vice President Riek Machar, launched attacks mid-month to demand places in the planned army integration or disarmament processes. Crisis Group has called on the peace guarantors to act urgently, ahead of the African Union summit on 10-18 July, to salvage the agreement and prevent the country from returning to full-scale war.

Meanwhile, in West Africa, armed violence in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta worsened and threatened to spread, while Boko Haram insurgents in the north east continued to attack security forces and civilians. These crises, alongside the killing of about 59 people by Fulani herdsmen on 18-19 June, painted a picture of deepening insecurity across the country. As Crisis Group argued in a new report “The Challenge of Military Reform”, if the government is to defend its citizens it needs to take action including an overhaul of the defence sector, drastically improving leadership, oversight and administration.

Niger also suffered deadly attacks by Boko Haram in south-eastern Diffa region on the border with Nigeria. On 3 June insurgents overran Bosso town on Lake Chad, killing 26 soldiers. Similar attacks were reported on 9 and 16 June against an army-held town and barracks. In the Central African Republic, violence spiked in several parts of the country in the first major deterioration in security since a newly elected government took office in April. In the capital, Bangui, clashes between Muslims and Christians on 11 June left four dead, and fighting hit the north west.

In Turkey a gun and suicide bomb attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport on 28 June killed 44 people and injured over 200. The government said it believed Islamic State (IS) was responsible, with official sources reporting that the three attackers were from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia’s North Caucasus. The attack comes as the government continued its clampdown against domestic IS networks and stepped up measures to prevent IS rocket attacks from Syria and seal off a 70km stretch of the border. Meanwhile clashes between the Kurdish PKK insurgency and Turkey’s security forces continued in the south east, with fighting increasingly moving from urban to rural areas.

On a positive note, the Colombian government and FARC signed agreements on the “end of conflict” on 23 June, providing the strongest assurance yet that the 52-year conflict is finally coming to a close. The agreements spell out how the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities will work, as well as how FARC guerillas will put down their arms and transition to civilian life. The parties also agreed on how to hold a referendum to approve the final peace deal. Crisis Group commended the work of both delegations and those involved in the negotiations, and applauded the inclusion of victims in the talks.

World: The SDC contribution : Report on the result of Swiss international cooperation 2013–2016

12 hours 11 min ago
Source: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Guinea, Honduras, Iraq, Jordan, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Liberia, Mali, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Syrian Arab Republic, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, World

HIGHLIGHTS

HUMANITARIAN AID AND THE SWISS HUMANITARIAN AID UNIT

Emergency aid and reconstruction measures supported by Switzerland directly benefit around three and a half million people a year.
Given their scale and tragic consequences, Swiss Humanitarian Aid has focused its attention on the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, South Sudan and the Central African Republic, and the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. (p. 8)

TECHNICAL COOPERATION AND FINANCIAL AID FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Improved management of service delivery systems has enabled almost eight million people from poor and disadvantaged population groups to better exercise their economic and social rights by increasing their access to basic resources and public services. Through its global programmes, Switzerland also contributed considerably to anchoring a concrete, measurable goal on universal access to water and sanitation in the outcome document on the SDGs. (p. 12)

TRANSITION ASSISTANCE IN THE COUNTRIES OF EASTERN EUROPE AND THE CIS

By supporting the transition of the Western Balkans and the countries of the former Soviet Union towards democratic systems and market economy, Switzerland helps to restore political stability and improve conditions for the people living there. (p.30)

GOOD GOVERNANCE AND GENDER EQUALITY

An independent evaluation has confirmed the good results achieved by the SDC in strengthening governance systems and increasing citizen participation in several priority countries. The OECD has confirmed the progress made towards mainstreaming the goal of gender equality into SDC programming. (p. 34)

World: IPC Newsletter Issue 8, June 2016

13 hours 51 min ago
Source: Integrated Food Security Phase Classification Country: Bangladesh, Cambodia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Philippines, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, World, Zimbabwe

Inside the issue

IPC Global News and Features…………..1

  • Working at full Speed in 2016.

  • A "New and Renewed "IPC Global Partnership

  • gFSC and IPC Strengthening their Cooperation

  • Towards a full Harmonized IPC Classification System

-E-learning Course on IPC Version 2.0

IPC Regions and Countries…….…………..3

  • IPC in East and Central Africa

  • IPC in Southern Africa

  • IPC support to CH in West Africa

  • IPC in Asia and Near East

  • IPC in Latin America and Caribbean

Philippines: Civil-Military Coordination (as of 30 June 2016)

30 June 2016 - 10:59pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

Philippines: Philippines Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 6 | 1 to 30 June 2016

30 June 2016 - 10:56pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

Highlights

  • The Philippines leads civil-military coordination in humanitarian response

  • ARMM's team of experts responds to humanitarian emergencies

  • The Philippines' unique history of refugees

  • Humanitarian Country Team joins National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill

Philippines: civil-military coordination in humanitarian response

The Philippines, by virtue of its location, is prone to natural disasters. With the trend of increasingly severe and destructive weather disturbances unlikely to change, more communities are likely to be exposed to hazards.

The country has thus developed a comprehensive disaster management system utilized down to the local level to ensure preparedness, effective response and prompt recovery. When a disaster overwhelms national capacity, however, the Philippines may request international assistance, including military assets, to support the national response.

After Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) in 2013, military assets consisting of air, naval, medical, engineering and communications capacities, as well as personnel were deployed from 21 Member States. Thousands of foreign military personnel worked closely with the humanitarian community at the height of the relief operation. With overlapping capabilities and specific missions coupled with cultural differences, the arrival of foreign militaries posed coordination challenges with civilian humanitarian actors.

The military’s role in humanitarian response

In the Asia-Pacific region, military resources are often part of the first response after natural disasters and make a valuable contribution. The prominent engagement of the military in humanitarian operations is a by-product of its unique structure, discipline, training, manpower, equipment and the determination to bolster resilience amidst the chaos.

Coordination among the different actors is critical for sharing information, planning and dividing tasks. This is where the United Nations’ Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination framework helps facilitate interaction between civilian and military actors, which is essential to protect humanitarian principles, avoid competition, minimize inconsistency and pursue common goals.

In the event of a disaster, the Government and affected communities rely on the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to be among the first to respond. The AFP has as one of its critical mission areas Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR), and it leads the Search, Rescue and Retrieval Cluster of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). It also provides manpower and logistics and communications support to other government cluster agencies.

World: WHO Zika Virus, Microcephaly and Guillain-Barré Syndrome Situation Report, 30 June 2016

30 June 2016 - 11:02am
Source: World Health Organization Country: American Samoa, Anguilla, Argentina, Aruba (The Netherlands), Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba (The Netherlands), Brazil, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao (The Netherlands), Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, France, French Guiana (France), French Polynesia (France), Gabon, Guadeloupe (France), Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Malaysia, Maldives, Martinique (France), Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), New Caledonia (France), New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico (The United States of America), Saint Barthélemy (France), Saint Lucia, Saint Martin (France), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sint Maarten (The Netherlands), Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, United States of America, United States Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, World

Summary

 As of 29 June 2016, 61 countries and territories report continuing mosquito-borne transmission (Fig. 1) of which:

 47 countries are experiencing a first outbreak of Zika virus since 2015, with no previous evidence of circulation, and with ongoing transmission by mosquitos (Table 1).

 14 countries reported evidence of Zika virus transmission between 2007 and 2014, with ongoing transmission.

 In addition, four countries or territories have reported evidence of Zika virus transmission between 2007 and 2014, without ongoing transmission: Cook Islands, French Polynesia, ISLA DE PASCUA – Chile and YAP (Federated States of Micronesia) .

 Ten countries have reported evidence of person-to-person transmission of Zika virus, probably via a sexual route (Table 2).

 In the week to 29 June 2016, no new country or territory has reported mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission.

 As of 29 June 2016, microcephaly and other central nervous system (CNS) malformations potentially associated with Zika virus infection or suggestive of congenital infection have been reported by thirteen countries or territories. Three of those countries reported microcephaly cases born from mothers with a recent travel history to Zika affected countries in Latin America (Table 3).

 As of 16 June, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC) reported four live born infants with birth defects and four pregnancy losses with birth defects with laboratory evidence of possible Zika virus infection In addition, a baby with microcephaly was born in the United States of America to a mother who is a resident of Haiti .

 On 20 June 2016, French Guiana reported the first case of congenital microcephaly associated with Zika virus infection in a pregnant woman. Microcephaly in the fetus has been diagnosed through ultrasound, and the amniotic fluid tested positive for Zika virus by RT-PCR 4 .

 In the context of Zika virus circulation, 14 countries and territories worldwide have reported an increased incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and/or laboratory confirmation of a Zika virus infection among GBS cases (Table 4).

 Zika infection was diagnosed in one patient with GBS and six others are under investigation in Guadeloupe 5 .

 Based on research to date, there is scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and GBS.

 Sequencing of the virus that causes the Zika outbreak in Cabo Verde showed that the virus is of the Asian lineage and the same as the one that circulates in Brazil.

 The third meeting of the Emergency Committee (EC) convened by the Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) regarding microcephaly, other neurological disorders and Zika virus was held by on 14 June 20166 .

 The global Strategic Response Framework launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) in February 2016 encompasses surveillance, response activities and research. An interim report has been published on some of the key activities being undertaken jointly by WHO and international, regional and national partners in response to this public health emergency. A revised strategy for the period of July 2016 to December 2017 was published on 17 June.

 WHO has developed new advice and information on diverse topics in the context of Zika virus. WHO’s latest information materials, news and resources to support corporate and programmatic risk communication, and community engagement are available online.

Philippines: EU, UNDP turn over disaster-resilient houses to Yolanda-affected families in Ormoc

30 June 2016 - 2:01am
Source: UN Development Programme Country: Philippines

29 June 2016, Ormoc City, Philippines– Fifty-five families in Ormoc City will soon be able to move in to their disaster-resilient homes with the turnover today of housing units supported by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

EU First Counsellor and Head Development Cooperation Achim Tillessen and UNDP Philippines Country Director Titon Mitra led the turnover ceremony of the housing units to the local government unit of Ormoc City.

The construction of disaster-resilient core shelters is part of the EU’s package of assistance, delivered through UNDP’s Project Recovery, to help families affected by Typhoon Yolanda. With funding support of EUR 9.7 million (approx. Php508 million) from the EU, Project Recovery complements the efforts of national and local governments in enabling the timely and sustainable recovery of Yolanda-affected communities and also builds their resilience to future natural disasters.

Project Recovery aims to provide a model for disaster-resilient resettlement infrastructure. The project is constructing 165 disaster-resilient houses with level 2 water system and electrical support facility in three sites (55 houses in each site): Ormoc City, Tacloban City and the municipality of Hernani in Eastern Samar. The 55 houses in Ormoc City have been completed and the rest will be finished by third quarter of this year.

“I am very happy that I will now be able to live in a house that is beautiful and sturdy. We have a newborn child, a new house. This is a big change in our life because our family can now live in a safe and comfortable house,” declares Rosemarie Encabo, one of the shelter beneficiaries in Ormoc City.

The houses are constructed with sweat equity from the beneficiary families to ensure better ownership of the project. Families are organised into Homeowners Associations that oversee and manage the houses’ construction and livelihood activities to make their resettlement community sustainable. Beneficiaries are trained in construction which enables them to secure employment with local construction companies.

The project also helps to build the capacities of the local government units of Tacloban City, Ormoc City and Municipality of Hernani in addressing shelter, land, and resettlement planning and management issues and needs.

Project Recovery focuses on: rebuilding disaster-resilient infrastructure; restoring livelihoods and jobs in farming and fishing communities; addressing land management issues and shelter construction models to ensure relocation of displaced populations; and strengthening capacities for and linkage of national and local governance disaster response and preparedness.

Mr Tillessen of the EU said, “The EU values its strong partnership with the Philippine Government, both at the national and local levels, and with UNDP particularly in helping disaster-affected communities recover. We are pleased to see the first batch of 55 families completing their houses which have been designed to be more disaster-resilient. We hope that EU’s support through UNDP will help secure a better and safer future for these families.”

“We thank the EU for their continued support and commitment, and the local government of Ormoc City for ensuring that this project is implemented smoothly. We are delighted to see that 55 families now have permanent homes that they themselves have built with their own hands. These families will now live in homes that can withstand 300kph winds. They have also acquired construction skills that hopefully will help them find productive employment,” UNDP Philippines Country Director Titon Mitra said.

World: Capping Three-Day Humanitarian Segment, Economic and Social Council Adopts Text Urging Better Protection of People Trapped in Crisis, Aid Workers

29 June 2016 - 10:50pm
Source: UN Economic and Social Council Country: Armenia, Iraq, Philippines, Serbia, Syrian Arab Republic, World

ECOSOC/6778

2016 Session, 33rd & 34th Meetings (AM & PM)
Economic and Social Council Meetings Coverage

Speakers Say Efficient State Action Needed Across Board to Address Massive Political Deficits Causing Sharp Rise in Displacement

The Economic and Social Council concluded its humanitarian affairs segment today, adopting a resolution recognizing the significant increase in forced displacement worldwide and stressing the need to respond to the specific needs of refugees, internally displaced persons and the host communities struggling to care for them.

In closing remarks, Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator thanked participants for “highly informative discussions”, noting that many had described the recent World Humanitarian Summit as an accelerator for change. For its part, his Office was committed to working with all stakeholders to deliver on the Secretary-General’s Agenda for Humanity.

By the resolution, the Council condemned all attacks, threats and other violence against humanitarian personnel, their facilities, equipment, transport and supplies, expressing deep concern at the consequences of such attacks for the provision of humanitarian assistance to affected populations.

By other terms, the Council called on all parties to armed conflict to respect, and all States to ensure respect for, international humanitarian law, and to comply with human rights and refugee legal obligations. States must also comply with the 1949 Geneva Conventions, notably on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, the Council stated, urging United Nations bodies to strengthen assistance to civilians in those situations.

In the area of civilian protection, the Council requested that States strengthen efforts to ensure better protection of and assistance for internally displaced persons, notably by adopting policies and strategies on a multi-year basis. States should also continue to prevent, investigate and prosecute sexual and gender-based violence in humanitarian emergencies, strengthening their response with support services for victims.

For its part, the United Nations should enhance humanitarian capacities, knowledge and institutions, the Council stated, requesting the Organization to deploy experienced humanitarian staff “quickly and flexibly” with paramount consideration given to the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity. In that context, the Council welcomed the Secretary-General’s call to double the Central Emergency Response Fund to $1 billion by 2018.

The adoption capped a day that featured a morning panel discussion on “Impediments to the Protection of Civilians”, moderated by Mr. O’Brien. Five panellists offered front-line perspectives on the challenges to reducing human suffering, including the wide-spread disrespect for international humanitarian — by State and non-State actors.

“There is something fundamentally wrong in a world where attacks on hospitals and schools, on places of worship and public markets, on ethnic and religious groups, have become so commonplace that they cease to incite any reaction,” Mr. O’Brien said, opening the discussion.

That sentiment was echoed in panellist presentations by the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, and heads of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Geneva Call, Médecins Sans Frontières and Iraqi Health and Social Care Organization, all of whom described the complexity of building trust with warring parties, identifying humanitarian needs, gaining access to affected areas and ultimately providing relief to distinct and sometimes disparate populations.

Measures to assure the equal treatment, dignity, safety and protection of people in conflict situations were essential, panellists said, as was acceptance by States that humanitarian personnel, to save lives, must care for and negotiate with “the enemy”. Such actions could not be criminalized.

In the afternoon, the Council concluded its general debate under the theme, “Restoring Humanity and Leaving No One Behind: Working together to reduce people’s humanitarian need, risk and vulnerability”, with speakers calling on States to address the political deficits that had led to the massive increase in forced displacement. Many called for more efficient action across the board.

“Letting down the millions of people trapped in humanitarian crises — and those vulnerable to tomorrow’s emergencies — is not an option,” said the representative of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. “We need to work both smarter and harder as humanitarians and development actors, as Governments, as donors and as an international community.”

In other business, the Council President appointed the following eight experts as members of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for a three-year term beginning 1 January 2017, as communicated in a 7 June letter to the Council: Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine (Mali) and Elifuhara Laltaika (United Republic of Tanzania) from Africa; Ann Nuorgam (Finland), from the Arctic; Phoolman Chaudhary (Nepal), from Asia; Terry Henry (United States), from North America; Lourdes Tiban Guala (Ecuador), from Central and South America and the Caribbean; Dimitri Zaitcev (Russian Federation), from Eastern Europe, Russian Federation, Central Asia and Transcaucasia; and Les Malezer (Australia), from the Pacific.

Closing the segment, Council Vice-President Jürg Lauber (Switzerland) thanked participants for their strong and constructive participation.

Also speaking today were representatives of Indonesia, Ireland, Serbia, Estonia, Republic of Korea, Cyprus, Costa Rica, Argentina, China, Germany, Sudan, Brazil, Canada, Philippines, Azerbaijan, Russian Federation, Armenia, Kuwait, Czech Republic, Peru and Mexico.

Representatives of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, United Nations Mine Action Service, World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Liaison Office, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) also delivered interventions.

Panel

The Economic and Social Council began the day with a panel discussion on “Impediments to the Protection of Civilians”, moderated by Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. It featured presentations by Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict; Yves Daccord, Director-General, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); Jason Cone, Executive Director, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, United States; Elisabeth Decrey-Warner, President, Geneva Call; and Hassin Ahmed Abdulkarim, Director, Iraqi Health and Social Care Organization.

Opening the discussion, Mr. O’BRIEN said a “shocking” disrespect for international humanitarian law had contributed significantly to death, displacement and the untold loss suffered by people around the world. “There is something fundamentally wrong in a world where attacks on hospitals and schools, on places of worship and public markets, on ethnic and religious groups, have become so commonplace that they cease to incite any reaction,” he said, expressing condolences to the Turkish people and Government in the wake of the attacks in Istanbul. At the recent World Humanitarian Summit, more than 400 commitments had been made, including for the protection of humanitarian and medical personnel and objects, the tracking and reporting of violations, and strengthening of justice for victims.

He said such actions were the first steps towards meeting the Secretary-General’s call for States to use political and economic leverage to ensure that parties to conflict complied with international humanitarian and human rights law. “Each one of us has the moral obligation to shape policies and decisions,” he said, urging improved collection, analysis and presentation of data on violations of international humanitarian law and the launch a comprehensive campaign demanding an end to disrespect for the law. It was urgent to examine the complexity of impediments to the protection of civilians, and develop measures to confront them “head on” in order to reduce human suffering.

Mr. DACCORD, responding to a question about steps that States, the Security Council, non-State armed groups and humanitarian organizations could take to comply with international humanitarian law, said one measure was to discuss, in forums such as the Council, issues relating to the protection of civilians and respect for international humanitarian law. Implementation of that law, as well as public international law, posed a problem. Between countries, it was difficult to achieve the necessary convergence; that must be discussed. Implementation was the primary responsibility of States and ICRC could help in that regard, working it into national legislation and for example, into armed forces. Intergovernmental initiatives could also enhance implementation.

Mr. CONE, asked by Mr. O’Brien about the role of the Security Council and others to make resolution 2286 (2016) a reality in peoples’ lives, said frameworks, norms and rules had been established. The Security Council could allow the basics for providing assistance, first and foremost by allowing populations to gain access to the dialogue and accepting that Médecins Sans Frontières had to “negotiate with the enemy”. The practice of providing care to those in need could not be criminalized. Médecins Sans Frontières had experienced more than 100 attacks in Yemen, Afghanistan and elsewhere, he said, noting that four of the five permanent Council members had been linked to such attacks. There was push back to States. “Are you willing to uphold those norms and when violated,” he asked, accept independent and impartial investigations of attacks? Acceptance was critical for those taking incredible risks on the front lines to assist the people bearing the brunt of those assaults. The issue raised questions around values that international and multilateral organization respected. The Security Council could create a feedback and accountability loop. It was not enough for States to investigate themselves.

Ms. DECREY-WARNER, asked about the evolution of armed groups’ willingness to respect international humanitarian law, said it was important to understand motivations of those groups in order to improve their behaviour. Noting that Geneva Call had worked for 17 years with 100 of those groups, she said many non-State actors did not know the rules of humanitarian law, making awareness-raising and ownership important. A weak chain of command was another reason groups violated humanitarian law, as was a lack of ability to respect humanitarian standards. Groups’ willingness to improve their own behaviour was another issue. Geneva Call had interviewed 19 armed groups about humanitarian access. They were interested to learn more about international humanitarian law, but not prepared to respect all of them. “This is a lengthy process,” she said, noting there were groups with no hope of improvement. To improve respect, it was necessary to work on issues of access, as States often impeded humanitarian personnel from working with non-State armed groups. Criminalizing humanitarian workers in contact with those groups was another problem. She urged political support for training in humanitarian law for those actors.

Mr. ABDULKARIM, asked about the challenges health-care workers faced in providing impartial medical care, said a minor impediment was that the State was not always prepared for a rapid response to a situation. It should have emergency plans in place. Other issues were the access of health staff to health institutions, availability of medical resources, capacity-building and infrastructure destruction. People with disabilities were vulnerable to receiving services. Displaced people in Iraq often stressed the public health system, making it difficult for providers to address 3.5 million internally displaced persons. Abuse of health system resources and their use for the benefit of state and non-State actors also had made access to health bodies difficult. For example, it had been difficult to get medication and equipment into Fallujah, a city of 100,000 people dealing with some 10,000 victims — 3,000 people killed and almost 7,000 injured — all of whom had lacked health care.

Ms. ZERROUGUI, asked about the effects of monitoring and reporting of children’s rights violations, said the monitoring and reporting mechanism was established by the Council to engage with non-State actors and the highest United Nations representative in the country concerned. Because it was a tool of the Security Council and linked to the listing and delisting, it could engage constructively with parties to conflict, identify what was lacking and how to remedy problems. “We are working with countries that are making progress,” she said, stressing the importance for parties to be convinced that what they were doing was not helping them win. States must protect the tools that they themselves had put in place, she said, stressing that the mechanism had been put in place because States were unhappy with the way information was gathered. Systematically targeting schools and killing children in their homes would not achieve military victory. Non-State actors would like to engage when they had an interest, and the mechanism helped them identify that interest. Some 150,000 children had been released thanks to the mechanism, many of whom were now championing an end to child recruitment.

In the ensuing discussion, speakers said disrespect for international humanitarian law was the biggest impediment to civilian protection, with a number of them supporting the need for independent investigations into abuse.

Mr. DACCORD, to a question from Iraq’s representative on measures Governments could take to better coordinate with United Nations agencies, said dialogue with the State was at the heart of the work being carried out. Close cooperation was indeed essential.

To a question by the United Kingdom’s representative on how to secure access to civilians in need, he said that, when parties respected international humanitarian law, it radically affected the population, notably through access to health. ICRC was ready to engage with States on their responsibilities. “We cannot impose humanitarian action on States or affected populations,” he said. Humanitarian action required competence and trust in order to secure access. The question centred on whether it was direct access to an affected population or through local partners. ICRC believed in direct access in order to understand needs and help communities find solutions.

Mr. ABDULKARIM, to those questions, said United Nations agencies and international and local non-governmental organizations could work with the Government to establish a rapid-response plan that took into account community-based approaches to health care. A nation-wide preparedness plan to respond to crises would help Iraq find alternative solutions to the situation. On the policy side, the United Nations and non-governmental organizations could work with the Government to enhance respect for international humanitarian laws. Geneva Call had offered training for Peshmerga in Kurdistan; the same could be done with other actors and non-State militia working with the Iraqi Government.

Mr. CONE said the right to assistance went hand-in-hand with the right to flee violence. There were political choices that pushed people back into violence. A troubling pattern of people not being assisted in crossing the Mediterranean or trying to traverse the Balkans had emerged. He pressed States to look at the policies that had increased peoples’ vulnerability. In addition, extreme measures had been taken to protect civilians, such as in Malakal, South Sudan. States must reflect on how emergency measures were meaningfully protecting civilians. The basic standards of humanity existed in civilian sites. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations — which provided physical protection in those sites — must critically reflect on the mechanisms set up to address emergencies.

Ms. ZERROUGUI underlined the importance of having a mechanism that represented the Government ministries and institutions involved in coordinating with United Nations agencies on the ground. Governments were punishing their populations by restricting access to what was happening on the ground. “Governments need us as partners that can engage with parties,” she stressed, noting that she received information because “people trust me” and understood that she spoke for their rights. The Government was the first to be blamed by their people if they did not receive what they needed. It was in their interest.

Ms. DECREY-WARNER said there were two types of access being discussed. The first was that States authorized access to United Nations agencies or ICRC so they could contact armed groups. Too many States denied that access. The second type was access given by conflict parties to humanitarian organizations in order to provide care to affected populations. Trust was important in that regard, she said, noting that, if groups received information before a crisis became extreme, they were more open to allowing assistance.

Ms. ZERROUGUI, asked by the United States representative about lessons his Government could learned from the mechanism so it could work with the international community to obtain better data on the “access challenge”, said the mechanism allowed United Nations to engage with parties. With direct access to the military, justice minister and those in charge of humanitarian access, there was more space to move the situation forward.

Mr. CONE, to a question by South Africa’s delegate on the decision to withdraw from the World Humanitarian Summit, said Médecins Sans Frontières thought the summit would fall short in the area of humanitarian response. There had been enormous insufficiencies in the quantity and quality of aid provided, including for Ebola or yellow fever in Angola and Democratic Republic of the Congo. There was also a fundamental disagreement over the humanitarian-development nexus. There was an important separation between the two.

In addition, he said, Médecins Sans Frontières was uncomfortable with the notions of resilience of internally displaced persons affected by both natural and man-made conflicts. Today, the standard was that assistance would be brought in months, rather than days and weeks, and that people would be left to their own devices, blocked and sent back. His organization believed the agenda was not strong enough to address their needs, he said, citing Burundian refugees in Rwanda living without enough latrines and shelter.

As to role of regional organizations, a point raised by the European Union delegate, he said discussions in the Security Council must be reinforced. The compact on people with disabilities was among the most important outcomes of the Summit, he said, answering a question by Finland’s representative.

Mr. DACCORD cited examples of the important role of regional organizations in respecting international humanitarian law, notably the African Union in the Kampala Declaration. The focus on disabled persons was important and ICRC had focused on physical rehabilitation for disabled people living in conflict-affected areas. Financing was needed in that regard.

Ms. DECREY-WARNER, on training, said long-term investment was needed.

Mr. DACCORD, on what could be done about impunity, said the challenge was to implement the international legal framework in the national context. National legislation should enable the implementation of sanctions.

Ms. DECREY-WARNER, on that point, drew attention to the balance between positive incentives and sanctions, as simply educating non-State groups did not guarantee the elimination of impunity. “We need to explain to them that peace cannot be built on atrocities,” she said, noting that they must be held accountable.

Mr. CONE agreed that those who broke the law should be punished. Perpetrators and victims were both trying to understand what happened in attacks, such as the bombing of a Médecins Sans Frontières facility in Afghanistan. In that case, the State had accepted responsibility. He underscored the need to put in place checks and balances through multilateral systems, investigative bodies and international tribunals. Intentionality was not the sole threshold that had to be established in order to have a problem. Reckless behaviour and weapons use also breached the law.

Mr. ABDULKARIM, to a question on deterring people from freed areas in Iraq, said that while Ramadi had been liberated, 80 per cent of the city had been destroyed, meaning that “people have no homes to go back to.” Security constrains were another concern, as was the fear of repeating the same conflict. People also had found new safe havens, where there were good social and economic opportunities, rather than return to fragile situations.

Also speaking were representatives of United Kingdom and Switzerland, as well as representatives of the Children and Youth Major Group and the World Federation for Mental Health.

Statements

MUHAMMAD ANSHOR (Indonesia), aligning himself with the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said that, given the magnitude of the current challenges, States must work together and with civil society and private-sector partners to carry out much-needed work. Crisis prevention was critical and advancing partnerships in that regard must be at the centre of efforts. Long-term investments in disaster risk reduction were also needed, he said, emphasizing the importance of such initiatives in Indonesia, which had launched a national blueprint for action. Reaching the poor and vulnerable was essential to advance development objectives and including women was key.

TIM MAWE (Ireland) said that ahead of the General Assembly High-Level Summit on Refugees and Migrants, to be held in September, it was important to move forward by building long-term solutions. The United Nations was at the centre of humanitarian efforts and should continue with reforms that would improve the delivery of assistance. Pool funds were central to delivering results stemming from commitments made at the World Humanitarian Summit. Vulnerable groups, including women and children, must receive due attention. The year ahead would be challenging, but now was the time to take stock of where things stood and where the world would like to be in a few years. The international community had a responsibility to ensure that no one was left behind.

MILAN MILANOVIĆ (Serbia) said following the Summit, it was clear that the meeting was not the end, but the beginning of addressing the needs of growing numbers of refugees and displaced persons. Time should not be wasted and urgent measures must be taken to end wars and conflict, with political solutions that considered vulnerable groups, including women. More than 700,000 migrants had passed through Serbia. Expressing concern that the trend would continue unless lasting solutions were found, he called for a comprehensive European-wide solution. The Council had a key role to play in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

SVEN JÜRGENSON (Estonia), associating himself with the European Union, said that engaging with stakeholders must ensure that the core humanitarian values were respected. For its part, Estonia had begun an initiative to alleviate the needs of the most vulnerable, including the growing number of migrants and forcibly displaced people. Children were particularly vulnerable and their protection and education needs must be addressed by humanitarian action. Humanitarian and development actors must learn how to work better together, bridging the divide. That could be done by having one United Nations coordinator at the national level. Estonia had joined the Grand Bargain on humanitarian financing and supported the commitments made at the Summit in Istanbul in May.

OH YOUNG YU (Republic of Korea) said the international community must adopt a “game-changing” approach to humanitarian action to address pressing challenges. The Summit had charged a momentum to transform commitments into action. Outlining priorities for her Government, she said conflict prevention must be bolstered and funding for humanitarian efforts must be sustainable and reach vulnerable populations. The humanitarian and development divide must also be bridged to ensure better collective outcomes. Efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda should reflect humanitarian concerns. The Republic of Korea would continue to support those goals and to work with partners.

MENELAOS MENELAOU (Cyprus), associating himself with the statement of the European Union, said it was highly important for assistance to be provided more effectively, with greater involvement from local communities. Humanitarian policies needed to be gender responsive, and women and girls seen as powerful actors rather than just victims. He regretted that, during the Summit, the host country’s stance towards Cyprus was disappointing and in disregard of United Nations principles and relevant United Nations resolutions. That was totally inappropriate, even more so as that had been a Summit which, among other things, aimed at upholding international law. In following up on the Summit, it was important to ensure a collective discussion at the United Nations level, without political distractions that would play down what was at stake.

JUAN CARLOS MENDOZA-GARCÍA (Costa Rica) said climate change consequences were affecting many countries and action must be taken to address those situations while ensuring no one was left behind. Humanitarian principles must guide the establishment and maintenance of access to vulnerable populations, with political commitment driving efforts. Preventing and finding peaceful solutions to conflict were also critical, he said, condemning attacks on civilian targets. Indiscriminate attacks on those who helped people in need were unacceptable. Attention should be paid to women and children, who were the targets of violence, and they must play a role in finding solutions. Unfortunately, the resolution to be adopted today had not included all of those references. For its part, Costa Rica had taken a number of steps to reduce risks, including risks due to climate change.

MATEO ESTREME (Argentina) said national efforts had included welcoming Syrian refugees and providing humanitarian assistance to people in need. Those affected by disasters must also be considered, as they often faced the same consequences as those affected by conflict. Adequate housing and other services should aim at helping the displaced persons while building the capacities of communities to better prepare for disasters and to address vulnerabilities. For conflict-affected populations, people must be the drivers of their own fate, with full respect of humanitarian principles and international law.

LUO JIN (China) said conflict had uprooted populations and the international community must work together to tackle those related challenges. Work in that area must abide by the United Nations Charter and respect States’ territorial integrity. The politicization of humanitarian issues must be avoided, she said, emphasizing that civilians must be protected in conflict zones. A spike in humanitarian crises had been triggered by conflict rooted in economic and political crises. To address poverty-related challenges, continued support for least developed countries and better partnerships, in that regard, were needed. The ultimate goal of partnership-building was pooling resources to enhance progress among developing countries. The legal role of the country involved in crises must also be recognized so it could take a leadership role. To deliver on those and related commitments, existing mechanisms in the United Nations humanitarian system should be used and consistently improved upon to ensure positive results.

Mr. KONIG (Germany), associating himself with the European Union, said the international community must live up to the commitments made at the Summit, inviting those that had not attended to work together to ensure that the best assistance was provided to affected people. Only political solutions to conflicts would reduce humanitarian needs. There had been recognition in Istanbul of the need for increased efficiency of humanitarian action. Different actors must work better together. He looked forward to the Secretary-General’s report on the Summit. In the Grand Bargain, he cited the increased use of cash-based programming, reduction of earmarking and simplification of reporting requirements in order to focus on humanitarian work. More funding for humanitarian assistance would better help people in need, he said, stressing the importance of upholding humanitarian principles in that regard.

OMER DAHAB FADL MOHAMED (Sudan), associating himself with the Group of 77, said El Niño had impacted countries in Africa, including his own, and called for countries to unite to meet humanitarian needs caused by such disasters. The lack of food and “other evils” threatened United Nations efforts to address all phases of emergencies. He called for more cooperation in supporting national efforts to overcome natural disasters and to improve States’ ability to respond. Cooperation and improving the capacities of both Government and non-governmental organizations must become more efficient. The goal was not to weaken national capacity, but, rather, to ensure respect for the principles of cohesion, solidarity, cooperation and sovereignty in meeting urgent humanitarian needs. The root causes of disasters must be addressed.

CARLOS SERGIO SOBRAL DUARTE (Brazil), associating himself with the Group of 77, said that humanitarian responses should be quick, gender-sensitive and contribute to resilience, with due attention to the most vulnerable. Expressing particular support for investment in cash-based programming that supported local markets, the promotion of local procurement of goods and services, and the development of social safety nets and insurance mechanisms for vulnerable populations, he stressed that the coordination between the humanitarian and development dimensions should be guided by a customized and context-specific approach. It was critical to better bridge silos, and to address the root causes of disasters, emergencies, chronic vulnerability and conflicts. Humanitarian challenges brought about by new technologies, such as autonomous weapons systems and drones, as well as compliance with international law by private military and security companies, must also be addressed.

MARC-ANDRÉ BLANCHARD (Canada) said Canada was doing more multi-year planning and programming in protracted crises, working in greater collaboration with development actors, supporting local responders and investing in innovative programming to address the underlying causes of vulnerability. It was now time for action to implement commitments and to seize the opportunity to do better for humanity. Canada would continue to meet its responsibilities by opening its doors and lending a welcoming hand to those around the world in greatest need. He noted Canada’s candidacy for a Security Council seat for the 2012-2013 term, adding that it was increasing its support for peacekeeping operations, as well as for mediation, prevention and post-conflict reconstruction.

THERESE RODRIGUEZ CANTADA (Philippines), aligning herself with the Group of 77, said strengthening the coordination of humanitarian action was needed. For its part, the Philippines and the United States launched guidelines to help migrants in crisis. Disaster displacement was another concern, she said, emphasizing that equal attention should be paid to climate or health crises as to those stemming from conflict. Preparedness for crises and disasters was a worthy investment. However, little had been done to strengthen countries’ capacities to cope with crises. The 2030 Agenda, the Sendai Framework and the Paris Agreement had supported the need to recognize the needs of refugees and migrants and the nexus between humanitarian and development efforts.

HABIB MIKAYILLI (Azerbaijan) said national efforts had contributed to supporting developing countries with initiatives that included poverty reduction, education and health programmes. Due to Armenia’s occupation of parts of Azerbaijan, he indicated there was an alarming number of internally displaced persons, totalling 41 million as of 2015, and regretted to say that situation had received too little attention in the global arena. Azerbaijan supported the Secretary-General’s Agenda for Humanity, he said, emphasizing that while the challenges were complex, the international community must, among other things, invest more in preventing and finding political solutions to conflicts.

Mr. AVDEEV (Russian Federation) said the United Nations had provided assistance to alleviate the suffering of many people. Politicization of humanitarian issues was not acceptable, undermining States in terms of principles of neutrality. Following the Summit, it was time to study the proposals and pledges made and the possibilities to incorporate them into General Assembly resolutions. A process, however, must include all States; efforts to shape solutions in small groups of States and then “throwing” them into the international arena were counterproductive. Efforts must not bypass the sovereignty of States. Monitoring and forecasting mechanisms for disasters must be improved and international assistance must be better integrated to mitigate crises.

SOFYA SIMONYAN (Armenia) said Armenia was Europe’s third-largest recipient of Syrian refugees per capita, with more than 20,000 having sought protection in the country, in addition to hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and more than 1,000 displaced from Iraq. It had implemented integration and settlement programmes for displaced people, she said, acknowledging the invaluable role of international institutions, the non-governmental sector, and diaspora and faith-based organizations. It was critical to look more closely at the role that regional and subregional organizations could play in addressing the humanitarian-development divide. She added that it was a priority for the United Nations system to strengthen and adapt its prevention function and build greater resilience, and emphasized the role of field missions in that regard.

ABDULAZIZ S M A ALJARALLAH (Kuwait), condemning the airport attack in Turkey and associating with the Group of 77, said humanitarian crises required a sense of shared responsibility. They often were due to natural disasters or armed conflict. Noting that the international community had not established a common position, he reaffirmed the importance of swiftly grappling with the root causes of conflict to arrive at political solutions that would “end the bloodbath”. It was important to ensure humanitarian access, and to respect both the Charter and international humanitarian law. “Impunity cannot be an option in situations of armed conflict,” he said, stressing that no efforts must be spared in providing assistance. Kuwait had provided more than $500,000 over 15 years for development projects around the world. He looked forward to the Secretary-General’s report to assess measures taken to mitigate crises.

OSCAR R. DE ROJAS, Permanent Observer for the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, emphasized the importance of faith-based organizations in humanitarian action, saying their work was often very fast and effective. They had networks already in place with existing faith communities and they were usually prepared to stay in the field for longer periods of time, enabling them to build trust and help with the reconciliation process. Spiritual needs were often neglected in humanitarian situations, but faith-based organizations could fill that gap by giving people a sense of purpose. He said the Order intended to actively participate in the General Assembly high-level meeting on refugees and migration on 19 September and that it would host, in 2017, a meeting between religious actors and other stakeholders to improve dissemination and implementation of international humanitarian law.

HESHAM YOUSSEF of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said displacement had become more permanent in many countries as conflicts had grown more protracted, noting that three of the four “level four” crises were in OIC member States. Protracted humanitarian crises would not be solved without political solutions. OIC would work with States to integrate refugees and internally displaced persons into national development plans, as well as work with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to achieve objectives at the meeting on refugees and migrants on 19 September. It was imperative that local non-governmental organizations received international support in delivering assistance in conflict areas. Citing the upholding international humanitarian law and ensuring civilian protection as OIC priorities, he expressed hope that Secretary-General’s report on the Summit would outline a vision for the humanitarian landscape, a road map and priority actions.

PHILIP SPOERI of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said States must move from ambition to action, as millions of people continued to suffer from violations of international humanitarian law, with the Lake Chad Basin now a major regional emergency. Noting that States had begun to work in an intergovernmental process to strengthen respect for international humanitarian law, he said ICRC continued to engage confidentially and bilaterally to strengthen that respect. In addition, internally displaced persons must be integrated into services and their protection needs met over the long term through an approach that bridged the divide between relief and development. Those living outside camps must not be forgotten and ICRC could play a role in that regard. The Kampala Convention represented an excellent way of working with internally displaced persons.

ANNE CHRISTENSEN of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said it was clear that top-down, one-size-fits-all approaches did not work in a humanitarian ecosystem characterized by many different actors. “We can no longer measure our progress in terms of people assisted,” she said. “All of us must take more action to prevent suffering.” Providing a snapshot of the Federation’s One Billion Coalition for Resilience, she said the goal was to take action to strengthen communities by 2023, including important new partnerships forged at the Summit. Action must also match rhetoric in building local humanitarian capacity. The Grand Bargain had set an important new marker in that regard. “Letting down millions of people trapped in humanitarian crises and those vulnerable to tomorrow’s emergencies is not an option,” she said. “We need to work both smarter and harder as humanitarians and development actors, as Governments, as donors and as an international community.”

AGNÈS MARCAILLOU, Director of the United Nations Mine Action Service, said international law had been too often flagrantly violated in conflict situations, with deliberate targeting of civilians and blocking assistance to reach those in need. The commitments made should consider the horrendous humanitarian impact of explosive hazards. Efforts stemming from the Summit and the Agenda for Humanity must integrate humanitarian mine action into strategies, planning, programming and financing. Humanitarian mine action was not synonymous with demining or even clearance; rather it served to assess the nature and scope of actual or perceived contamination of roads, agricultural fields, landing pads and residential and urban areas by mines, unexploded ordnance, booby traps and improvised explosive devices. Mine Action Service interventions enabled coherent and effective humanitarian assistance and stabilization, allowing displaced persons to return home and humanitarian workers to carry out their tasks.

RICK BRENNAN of the World Health Organization (WHO) said that while progress had been made in tackling Ebola and other crises, too many people were living in horrible conditions stemming from conflict and natural disasters. Diseases had spread in such conditions and more than 50 per cent of preventable deaths among children and 60 per cent of deaths among women occurred in settings of conflict and fragility. Life-saving health services must reach those in crisis situations and collective action must be taken to ensure sanitation and clean water. Adults must be healthy to rebuild after a crisis and children must be in good health to learn. WHO would continue to condemn the unacceptable attacks on health workers. Action must be taken now, he stressed.

YASMIN HAQUE, Deputy Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), urged all parties to conflict to comply with international law, as well as maintain programmes to ensure children’s safety, protect them from gender-based violence, reunite them with their families and provide emergency mine risk education. Education must be sustained in the midst of crisis. Yet, it received less than 2 per cent of humanitarian funding. New ways must be found to hear and heed the voices of people in need when shaping programmes and services. Efforts must be equally relentless in reaching the most unreachable children. UNICEF was committed to taking forward pledges made at the Summit to build a more robust operational system that placed children’s rights at the heart of humanitarian and development action.

CARLA MUCAVI, Director of the Liaison Office to the United Nations of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said that, in Syria, farmers were struggling to keep their lands productive. They were the backbone of Syria’s food supply and would be essential to the country’s recovery. In Somalia, cash-for-work programmes helped overcome famine and protect livelihoods. In that context, she recalled that ensuring food security and nutrition was the foundation for building peaceful societies. She reaffirmed FAO’s commitment to investing in preparedness, building resilience, responding to emergencies and fostering long-term development in line with the 2030 Agenda.

CHRISTINE MATTHEWS, Deputy Director of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said more than 1 million refugees and migrants had arrived on southern European shores, of which more than 84 per cent were from the world’s top 10 refugee-producing countries: Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq among them. New crises in Burundi and Yemen were forcing hundreds of thousands of people to seek safety in neighbouring countries. “It is no surprise that the international humanitarian system is under enormous strain,” she said, stressing that partnerships were essential to UNHCR’s response. More must be done to mobilize collective action to address the unprecedented displacement crisis. The proposed Global Compact on Responsibility-Sharing for Refugees would be a commitment by States to better share responsibility based on existing legal obligations, standards and best practices. It would be an unequivocal recognition that “no refugee should be left behind”.

VINICIUS PINHEIRO, Special Representative to the United Nations and Director of the New York Office of the International Labour Organization (ILO), said relief turned into development when refugees and other forcibly displaced people were given access to labour markets and decent jobs opportunities, and when the positive economic impacts of large movements of migrants and refugees were optimized. No peacebuilding, post-conflict and disaster recovery strategies would be sustainable without strong employment components. Having addressed humanitarian issues, including with the Employment Transition from War to Peace Recommendation of 1944, ILO was now revising it to consider contemporary contexts and the need to respond to conflict and disaster situations. With regard to the refugee crisis, ILO constituents had asked for a set of guiding principles on labour market access for refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. ILO was also engaged in other areas, including preparing for the World Summit on Large Movements of Migrants and Refugees, to be held in September.

RICARDO DE GUIMARÃES PINTO of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) emphasized that conflicts were changing shape and that culture and identity had moved to the frontlines of new wars. Indeed, there was a “new global struggle for hearts and minds”, especially those of young people, which featured attacks against the symbols and institutions of creativity and free thinking. In Syria, all six World Heritage Sites had been damaged by fighting, he pointed out, stressing that the deliberate destruction of cultural heritage was a war crime. Underscoring the global priority of supporting education in emergency situations, he noted that “education cannot wait until a conflict is over or a disaster mended”. In addition, freedom of expression and freedom of information were needed in order to build peace, as they mitigated risks, challenges rumours, empowered citizens and promoted reconciliation and dialogue. In particular, journalists — who faced attacks, harassment, kidnapping and torture — must be protected.

Mr. MUCHKA (Czech Republic) said national efforts had included cooperating with affected populations and countries while promoting humanitarian cooperation within the European Union. The Czech Republic was also cooperating with relevant United Nations agencies and partners. Special attention was being paid to conflict prevention, preparedness and resilience-building, and participating in the shaping of the Sendai Framework.

LUCÍA AMIRI-TALESH (Peru) said recently adopted instruments had been indicative of a drive for progress in dealing with humanitarian situations. Political action was also necessary to address the needs of vulnerable populations and long-term plans should aim at improving the delivery of assistance. Reducing risk, addressing crisis prevention and achieving sustainable development were also key. Turning to national concerns, she said El Niño had harmed many of Peru’s communities, prompting a swift response from the Government. However, those efforts had been insufficient in the face of colossal challenges. Moving forward, Peru would cooperate with stakeholders to address humanitarian crises.

Mr. ARKOCHA (Mexico) said systematic inequality must be addressed with a view to ensuring swift and effective responses that included all stakeholders and those affected by crises. To prevent conflict, public services must be enhanced and analysis on the ground must be improved to act as an effective warning mechanism for potential conflict. With regard to humanitarian assistance and emergency response, Mexico had increased aid in 2015. Going forward, humanitarian and development actors must work together to build strong communities.

Action

The Council then adopted the draft resolution on “strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations” (document E/2016/L.20).

For information media. Not an official record.

Philippines: DSWD turns over P157M shelter assistance to ISFs

29 June 2016 - 12:35pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) officially awards residential units to 21 family-beneficiaries of the Estero de San Miguel Pilot Project on Shelter Assistance and Disaster Risk-Reduction and Management.

The disaster prevention shelter assistance is a joint project undertaken by the DSWD, the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Urban Poor Associates (UPA), and the Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Legarda, Inc. (NML).

As part of the project, five micro-Meidum Rise Buildings (mmRBs) were constructed with the project cost amounting to P157 million. Four (4) of the said buildings are for the housing assistance of the identified Informal Settler Families (ISFs) who reside in danger zones and one building serves as a multi-purpose building.

The shelter assistance is provided to the urban poor especially those who live in danger zones along the various esteros and creeks in Metro Manila.

As part of national government’s disaster prevention initiatives, its primary objective is to ensure safe and flood-resilient permanent housing for the ISFs.

Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman shared that this joint project “is a result of the lessons learned by government from strong typhoons like ‘Milenyo and Ondoy.’ With the safe residential units, the ISFs will not be assured of protection against the “new normal.”

In addition, the Secretary addressed the ISFs to take care of their new shelters. The Secretary added that the shelter assistance project was made possible as a result of the NMLI’s persistence to make government accountable.

Thus, she emphasized to the family-beneficiaries to continue advocating for their rights with the new Administration. ###

Philippines: As Philippines marks National Nutrition Month, child rights group ‘Save the Children’ urges incoming President to prioritize ‘worsening state of malnutrition’

29 June 2016 - 5:21am
Source: Save the Children Country: Philippines

Quezon City, June 28, 2016 – Days before National Nutrition Month, child rights group Save the Children urges the incoming Duterte administration to tackle the alarming rates of stunting or chronic malnutrition among Filipino children under five years old. The call coincides with the organization’s exhibit and launch of the new video ad “Reach”, which highlights lifelong negative impact of stunting on a child’s overall growth, development and well-being.

The “Reach” ad, which will be shown in cinemas throughout July, was developed by Save the Children, Bates CHI & Partners in response to the spike in country’s chronic malnutrition rate from 30.3% in 2013 to 33.5 % in 2015 based on latest Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) data.

Dr. Amado Parawan, Save the Children Health and Nutrition Advisor, said: “The Philippines’ worsening state of chronic and acute malnutrition is now a serious concern. When 1 in 3 Filipino children suffers from stunting, then we are faced with a weak and incapable labor force in the future.”

Save the Children says that government data show that children from the poorest households are three times more likely to suffer from stunting or chronic malnutrition.

Dr. Parawan added: “We know that the problem ultimately affects the poorest families. This should stop. Therefore, we call the new President to prioritize child malnutrition and ensure that nutrition services are highly targeted as he has shown in Davao City where he funded nutrition programs and interventions.”

“Programs should shift to ensuring child’s health and nutrition in the first 1000 days, from conception up to his or her second birthday. We know this is a critical “window of opportunity” for a child’s optimal growth and development. If we fail to act collaboratively during this period, the damage on the child is both permanent and irreversible. There is no turning back.”

This year, Save the Children launched its ‘Community Management of Acute Malnutrition’ project in Navotas City, the first of such intervention in Metro Manila. However, Save the Children says that greater investments are needed to address the situation in the capital region and all over the country.

Michel Rooijackers, Deputy Country Director of Save the Children said: “Tackling malnutrition is never straightforward, it requires support from both public and private sector. Through our new ad “Reach”, we intend to encourage institutions and the public to take action. A multi-sectoral approach to solve the problem of malnutrition is a must. Save the Children believes that when people understand the extent of the crisis, they take part in creating change.”

Save the Children’s new ad is part of the its ‘Lahat Dapat’ campaign against hunger and child malnutrition which aims to call stakeholders to step up in its efforts in tackling malnutrition, especially in the first 1000 days of a child’s life. The new initiative is in partnership with Ayala Malls Cinemas, Fishermall, Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall Theater Zone, Century City Mall Cinemas, Shang Cineplex, Gateway Cineplex 10, Fox Philippines, Luminus Productions, CNN Philippines, United Neon, Nyxsys, Splash Island, Active Fun and Business World Publishing Corporation

This year’s National Nutrition Month’s theme is “First 1000 days ni baby, pahalagahan para sa malusog na kinabukasan.”

For interviews and further information, call our National Media Manager, April May Sumaylo at +639173011240 or email april.sumaylo@savethechildren.org. Tel: +63 2 8532142 loc 124

Philippines: Mainstreaming risk reduction in the national building code: protecting lives and property from disaster risk in the Philippines

29 June 2016 - 1:42am
Source: World Bank Country: Japan, Philippines

An archipelago spanning more than 7,000 islands, the Philippines is among the countries with the greatest exposure to natural disaster risk worldwide. Earthquakes, typhoons, flooding, volcanic eruptions, and landslides all present a threat, according to ThinkHazard!, a new online risk visualization tool from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). In its report “The Human Cost of Weather-Related Disasters”, UNISDR lists the Philippines as the fourth-most-disaster-affected country in the world, with a total of 130 million people affected by weather-related disasters over the period 1995-2015.

Situated on the edge of two tectonic plates, the Philippines is exposed to significant seismic hazards comparable to those facing cities such as Tokyo and San Francisco. The country also sits in the path of seasonal typhoons, and the extreme weather events affecting it are becoming more variable and less predictable as a result of climate change. In addition to the human cost, disasters have a sizeable economic impact as well: total losses from natural disasters are estimated to cost the Philippines around $6.5 billion every year, and the risk of an “extreme weather event” is the leading concern for those doing business in the country (The Global Risks Report 2016, World Economic Forum).

Given the country’s considerable risk exposure, the government of the Philippines is committed to building resilience to natural hazards by mainstreaming disaster risk management (DRM) through priority entry points, including strengthening the capacity for risk reduction investment planning and introducing regulations to enhance the resilience of infrastructure. This is in accordance with the approach laid out in the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Act of 2010.

The World Bank Disaster Risk Management Hub, Tokyo under GFDRR, is supporting the government’s DRM agenda with a grant of $2.35 million through Japan-World Bank Program for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in Developing Countries. One major component of this technical assistance program is support for the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to review and revise the National Building Code (NBC) with an eye to integrating disaster risk reduction measures. The building stock in the Philippines is much more vulnerable to earthquakes than places with similar levels of exposure to seismic hazard, such as Japan and California, and revisions to the NBC should help to reduce the risk of loss of life and property damage from disasters.

The revision of the NBC and its implementing rules and regulations is long overdue, according to DPWH Secretary Rogelio L. Singson. Through this work, the government is aiming to improve overall building safety and develop a robust enforcement mechanism to ensure building quality nationwide.

To help achieve these goals, the DPWH convened national and international experts at a public colloquium in March to discuss revisions to the NBC and its implementing rules and regulations. The event, which was held at the National Engineering Center of the University of the Philippines, brought together around 100 technical experts and representatives from the private sector, along with civil society organizations, academics, government officials, and development partners.

At the colloquium, national experts and international specialists from the US, Australia, and Japan shared knowledge, analyzed challenges, and discussed the appropriate structure for the NBC and its enforcement mechanism, as well as the measures needed to build capacity among local governments and construction companies in the private sector.

Over the next 12 months, the NBC will be reviewed and revisions will be developed to integrate measures supporting disaster risk reduction, with these representing the first update to the NBC since it was issued in 1977. All referral codes will also be examined to ensure they are harmonized with the revisions to the NBC.

The review is being carried out by group of experts from the University of the Philippines Diliman. The team of experts, which includes faculty from the College of Engineering, the College of Architecture, and the School of Urban and Regional Planning, is applying the latest scientific knowledge and lessons learned from disaster-related building failures in its work. When completed, the revised NBC should help the Philippines to improve the safety and resilience of its built environment and reduce the impacts, both human and material, of natural disasters.

Philippines: WFP Philippines Country Brief, May 2016

28 June 2016 - 12:56pm
Source: World Food Programme Country: Philippines

Highlights

  • Attacks could potentially arise in central Mindanao where historical precedents show that longstanding tensions among political families could re-ignite after an election. Militant groups are also expected to continue their activities triggering sporadic clashes with government security forces which may hamper some WFP programme activities.

  • WFP Philippines received contributions in support of school meals for children in Mindanao: in the form of cash from private donor Yum! and dates from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) .

Philippines: Philippine children rebuild lives after typhoon with long-term help from UNESCO

28 June 2016 - 5:45am
Source: UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Country: Philippines

UNESCO Jakarta Office and Philippines’ Department of Education has trained 285 secondary school teachers and education key officials in how best to help children rebuild and improve their lives since the 2013 typhoon hit through the Emergency Psychosocial Support for Secondary School-aged Students project.

“Recovery and rehabilitation is not something that happens overnight, said Reynaldo Laguda, Department of Education Undersecretary for Administration and Finance. “This particular project is very special for us because it addresses areas that are sometimes disregarded in recovery. This is essentially talking about things that people don’t usually discuss and providing support for students, emotionally and psychologically.”

The project consists of a psychosocial training module rolled out through workshops for teachers in post-disaster psychosocial support and relayed through the classroom through special activities and practical recovery goals. It also trains education policy decision-makers to ensure the module can be applied in a broader emergency context while local needs are addressed.

Helping children to dream again

Six months ago the joint project was boosted by the Enhanced and Improved Teachers’ Manual on Psychosocial Interventions for Secondary School-aged Students During Disasters and Emergency Situations funded by the Official Development Assistance of the Government of Japan.

Training facilitator Dr Maria Regina Hechanova said: “When you are victimized by a trauma and you lose everything, sometimes you lose even the dreams because they seem very unreachable, because you're starting from scratch. What we're trying to do is get them to dream again,”

“The teacher opens up the door after a disaster and taps the inner strength of the learners, so that they don't have to go through the trauma for a long period of time,” said Department of Education Secretary Armin Luistro.

Ms Daisy Espuglar, Mathematics Secondary Schoolteacher who took part in a recent introductory training workshop said: “We have learned how to prepare our hearts, our bodies and our minds in times of disasters and calamities.”

The 2013 typhoon destroyed more than 1.2 million homes displacing 4 million people. UNESCO responded by sending teams of experts in education, culture, media development, hydrology, early warning systems, resilient infrastructure and disaster and risk reduction from Paris, Jakarta, Beijing and Bangkok.

Philippines: ASEAN Weekly Disaster Update, 20 - 26 June 2016

28 June 2016 - 12:40am
Source: Association of Southeast Asian Nations Country: Indonesia, Philippines
Regional Summary

Affected People: 55,709 (est.)

Displaced People: 2,053

Indonesia Flood

Flashflood and landslide hit Sangihe District (island), North Sulawesi Province. The incident has caused five death and damaged 225 houses. The National Disaster Management Authority (BNPB) reported that 1,917 people were evacuated because of the incident.

Flooding also happened in Luwu Utara, South Sulawesi Province. Responding to the situation, the local authority distributed relief items to the 12,129 affected families.

Philippines Flood

The Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) has triggered flooding in Maguindanao Province. 5,140 people were affected by the incident.

Flooding also occurred in Valencia City, Bukidnon Province. 136 people were evacuated due to the incident.

Philippines: DSWD continues relief operations for El Nino victims

27 June 2016 - 7:03am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

TAGBILARAN CITY, June 27 (PIA) – Responding to the effects of the long dry season and the searing heat brought about by the El Nino, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) mobilized its resources to bring crucial relief to distressed communities in the island barangays of Bohol.

And, for its initial mobilization, DSWD Bohol reports the delivery of relief food and water packs to 22,771 individuals in 14 towns, most of them from the deprived sectors.

DSWD Bohol Chief Papiasa Bustrillos said that with local resources, they are constrained to prioritize the distribution of rice, canned goods and water to families of farmers and fishermen of Bohol’s island barangays and towns who are severely affected by the long dry season.

The drought brought about by the El Nino has not just damaged millions of pesos worth of agriculture, but its searing and persistent heat ruined also the multi-million seaweeds industry feeding thousands of seaweed farmers in the island barangays of northern Bohol, Bustillos revealed during the Kapihan sa PIA.

"Right now, we are again continuing to pack more relief to be delivered to other areas in Bohol that need them," she said, adding that the delivery depends on the availability of trucks from Bohol Provincial Disaster and Risk Reduction Council (PDRRMC).

"We also intend to ask the congressman from the second district, Cong. Aristotle Aumentado, to lend us his boat so we could deliver the goods to other islets," she added.

The repacking, she added, is based on validated reports emanating from town teams.

The team, comprised of the municipal or city social welfare and development officer, municipal agriculture officer (MAO), a representative from the DSWD Kalahi, 4Ps and the Sustainable Livelihood Programs, gather and shortlist the data of calamity-affected individuals from the barangays.

The data is the validated from the list submitted by the MAO, MSWDO, and civil society organizations.

People who are severely affected may go to these teams and get into the list, but Bohol welfare officials also explained why not everyone can be given relief packs.

"We are operating on a limited budget, so we make sure that only those who have no other means can get [the relief packs]," Bustrillos explained.

Beyond that, by operational protocol, the local office has to keep a buffer stock of 10,000 relief packs which can be withdrawn any given time during emergencies, she said.

Relief is just among the many interventions that DSWD is extending to communities and 4Ps beneficiaries who are severely distressed by the El Nino.

By July, the 4Ps Family Development Session, where 4Ps beneficiaries are required to attend, would be tackling disaster preparedness, according to Phoebe Jen Indino, 4PS Information Officer.

The program, to be implemented in coordination with the Office of the Civil Defense, Philippine National Red Cross, and the Bureau of Fire Protection would grant to communities the proper disaster preparedness to mitigate the often disastrous effects of La Nina, Indino bared. (rmn/rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

World: Incentives for Reducing Disaster Risk in Urban Areas

27 June 2016 - 5:50am
Source: Asian Development Bank Country: Nepal, Philippines, Viet Nam, World

Experiences in 3 case study areas in Viet Nam, Nepal, and the Philippines indicate that there is an opportunity to leverage existing incentive and/or investment programs to encourage investment in disaster risk reduction.

The rapid growth of urban areas has often resulted in the siting of poorly designed infrastructure and assets in hazard-prone areas, increasing disaster risk.

While a better understanding of disaster risk by urban stakeholders and the use of this information by governments to develop policies, regulations, and financing that prioritize risk reduction are key to increasing public and private investment in risk reduction, there is also a need to offer inducements—or incentives—to encourage investment.

This summary of experiences of Da Nang in Viet Nam, the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal, and Naga City in the Philippines explains:

  • what incentives are,
  • how they are currently used in the case study areas to encourage investments in disaster risk reduction, and
  • how to foster an enabling environment for a successful incentive program.

While these incentives are not designed with disaster risk reduction as the primary purpose, many of them have either indirectly contributed to reducing disaster risk or, with minor modification, could directly contribute to risk reduction.

China: Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (21-27 June 2016)

27 June 2016 - 5:41am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: China, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines

China

As of 23 June, 9 million people have been affected by torrential rainfall across 10 provinces of southern China, with flooding triggering the temporary evacuation of at least 388,000 people. On 21 June, the China National Commission for Disaster Reduction and Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) launched a Level IV emergency response to support areas affected by hailstorm, torrential rainfall and floods in Shanxi, Hunan, Guizhou, Jiangxi, and Hubei provinces and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. However, no request for international assistance has been made.

Also on 23 June, severe weather in the coastal province of Jiangsu spawned a tornado as well as torrential rain and hailstorm. The severe weather caused 98 deaths, with at least 800 people injured and more than 8,000 homes destroyed in Funing County. Local authorities supported by MCA and the Chinese Red Cross have provided food, tents and NFIs to affected communities.

98 people Killed

Philippines

As of 22 June, 1,000 families (5,100 people or about 22 per cent of the population) in Sultan sa Barongis municipality, Maguindanao province, have been affected by flooding caused by heavy rainfall due to an intertropical convergence. Flooding was also reported in Pikit municipality, Cotabato province which forced some residents to evacuate to higher grounds. Authorities are assessing the impact of the flood.

5,100 people affected

Indonesia

According to the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB), flooding and landslides in Central Java province caused 59 deaths, with four people still missing. In Purworejo, the worst affected district, about 350 people remain displaced. Search and rescue operations ended on 24 June. Local authorities continue to provide assistance to the affected communities.

In North Sulawesi province, flooding and landslides also caused five deaths and damaged over 200 houses. An estimated 600 people remain displaced and are being supported by the local government. Rains continue to affect Java, Sumatra and Kalimantan.

59 people killed

Papua New Guinea

While rainfall during the past several weeks is beginning to ease the dry conditions across Papua New Guinea, WFP estimates that some 180,000 people remain food insecure due to the prolonged drought. In support of the Government, partners continue to implement emergency food and nutrition activities. In April, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund provided US$4.7 million for the ongoing El Niño response. Access to remote areas, however, continue be constrained by the terrain and recent flood.

180,000 people in food insecure

Philippines: NDRRMC Update: Incident Monitored Covering the Period of 241700H to 250800H June 2016

26 June 2016 - 12:02am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

1. Initial Report re Flooding Incident in Valencia City, Bukidnon (Region X)

A. Situation Overview:

• At 6:08 PM, 24 June 2016, a flooding incident occurred due to heavy rains that lasted for three (3) hours in the following barangays in Valencia City, Bukidnon:

  1. Purok 4, Brgy. Catumbalon;
  2. Purok 2 and 5 both in Brgy. Tongan-Tongan; and
  3. Purok Sadin, Brgy. Dagat K Davao

B. Effects:

• A total of 37 families / 136 persons were affected and evacuated in two (2) evacuation centers in Brgy. Catumbalon and Brgy. Dagat K Dagat, Valencia City.

C. Actions Taken:

• Barangay Emergency Response Teams and CDRRMO Valencia City SAR Team immediately responded to the area.

• CSWDO Valencia City provided food packs, mosquito nets and mats to the affected families in the evacuation areas.

• OCD X is continuously monitoring the incident.

World: Understanding the climate-conflict nexus from a humanitarian perspective: a new quantitative approach

24 June 2016 - 6:27pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chad, China, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, World

Introduction

This occasional policy paper aims to improve the humanitarian sector’s understanding of the nexus between climate change and violent conflict. This is crucial, given that about 80 per cent of the humanitarian crises with an inter-agency humanitarian appeal are conflict related, and climate change is expected to exacerbate this. The chair’s summary of the World Humanitarian Summit made it clear that in order to prevent conflict, a complementary approach which includes addressing climate change, is needed. The High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing also highlighted “the growing inter-linkages between humanitarian, development, peacekeeping and climate change-related interventions” and their relevance for humanitarian action.

This paper suggests a series of indicators and new metrics for assessing the risk of climate change-induced conflict for 157 countries covering more than 99 per cent of the world’s population. The aim is to identify indicators that can help to identify countries that are exposed to what is described here as the climate-conflict nexus, i.e, the intersection between two key factors: weak institutions and pre-existing social fragility, as well as climate change vulnerability. Measuring and quantifying these interlinks, particularly their humanitarian impact, is essential for delivering on the High-Level Panel’s call to reflect their implications in humanitarian finance allocations.

This paper identifies 20 countries in the climate-conflict nexus. They encompass some 780 million people living mostly in South Asia, South-East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. All of the countries in the climate-conflict nexus are low- or lower-middle-income nations, where the international humanitarian system is already actively providing life-saving assistance to millions of people affected by recurrent humanitarian crises.

In the wake of last year’s COP21 agreement in Paris and the World Humanitarian Summit, it is important to provide further research and analysis on the interlinks between climate change and conflict, and to better understand how newly agreed climate finance can help support the countries that are most vulnerable to climate change-induced conflict.

This paper presents a new composite measure called the Resource and Climate Vulnerability Index (RCVI), which provides a framework for observing and ranking the countries most at risk from resource stress and changes in weather patterns. Due to a lack of data, the analysis does not include microstates. Their exclusion does not imply they are free from climate change vulnerability. By comparing the RCVI to a measure developed by the Institute of Economics and Peace called the Positive Peace Index, which captures the key institutions, attitudes and structures that maintain peace, it is possible to quantify the climate-conflict nexus and contribute to a better understanding of possible future humanitarian needs.

Independently, climate change does not lead to violence. As is made clear in conflict and climate change literature, it is the intersection between vulnerability to climate change and broader institutional and socioeconomic fragility that drives the potential for conflict and violence. Countries that are most vulnerable to climate change are often the least developed or most fragile. This is a significant factor in determining the climate-conflict nexus. Social unrest, intergroup grievances and gender-based violence can increase if a country or Government is unable to provide the resources needed to cope with a changing environment or destruction from extreme weather conditions, or if international climate change adaptation support is insufficient. This, in turn, may contribute to violent conflict.

Fundamentally, many high-income countries that will experience changing weather patterns or shocks to their resource supply due to climate change will have a greater capacity to manage social and economic stresses that may eventuate from climate change. Conflict and social upheaval are much less likely in contexts whereby competition for scarce natural resources is less intense due to lower concentrations of vulnerable populations and fewer people exposed to shocks in livelihood patterns. The quantitative analysis in this paper is based on the existing literature on the link between climate change and conflict.

This conceptualizes climate change predominately as a stressor negatively driving at least two critical factors: forced displacement and resource scarcity leading to increased risk of violence and conflict. Countries with weak institutions, high levels of poverty and agricultural-based economies are particularly vulnerable to these negative stressors or threat multipliers.

Gender inequality further exacerbates risk and vulnerabilities related to climate change and disasters, as well as in conflict. This paper refers to the gender inequality of risk in a changing climate (the fact that women are disproportionally affected by disasters and conflict) as a root cause of fragility at all levels.

This research aims to spur discussion and deeper analysis on the links between conflict and climate change to inform the critical decisions that policymakers, practitioners and Governments will make to mitigate and adapt to the worst impacts of climate change in the coming years to prevent human suffering and save more lives.

World: WHO Zika Virus, Microcephaly and Guillain-Barré Syndrome Situation Report, 23 June 2016

23 June 2016 - 10:36am
Source: World Health Organization Country: American Samoa, Anguilla, Argentina, Aruba (The Netherlands), Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba (The Netherlands), Brazil, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao (The Netherlands), Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, France, French Guiana (France), French Polynesia (France), Gabon, Guadeloupe (France), Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Malaysia, Maldives, Martinique (France), Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), New Caledonia (France), New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico (The United States of America), Saint Barthélemy (France), Saint Lucia, Saint Martin (France), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sint Maarten (The Netherlands), Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, United States of America, United States Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, World

 As of 22 June 2016, 61 countries and territories report continuing mosquito-borne transmission (Fig. 1) of which:

 47 countries are experiencing a first outbreak of Zika virus since 2015, with no previous evidence of circulation, and with ongoing transmission by mosquitos (Table 1).

 14 countries reported evidence of Zika virus transmission between 2007 and 2014, with ongoing transmission.

 In addition, four countries or territories have reported evidence of Zika virus transmission between 2007 and 2014, without ongoing transmission: Cook Islands, French Polynesia,
ISLA DE PASCUA – Chile and YAP (Federated States of Micronesia).

 Ten countries have reported evidence of person-to-person transmission of Zika virus, probably via a sexual route (Table 2).

 The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC) reported one, laboratory-acquired case of Zika virus infection.

 In the week to 22 June 2016, Anguilla is the latest territory to report mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission.

 As of 22 June 2016, microcephaly and other central nervous system (CNS) malformations potentially associated with Zika virus infection or suggestive of congenital infection have been reported by twelve countries or territories. Three of those reported microcephaly cases borne from mothers with a recent travel history to Brazil (Slovenia, United States of America), the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Colombia (Spain), for one additional case the precise country of infection is not determined (as the case travelled to three known affected countries in Latin America) (Table 3).

 As of 9 June, the US-CDC reported three live born infants with birth defects and three pregnancy losses with birth defects with laboratory evidence of possible Zika virus infection.

 In the context of Zika virus circulation, 13 countries and territories worldwide have reported an increased incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and/or laboratory confirmation of a Zika virus infection among GBS cases (Table 4).

 Zika infection was diagnosed in four patients with a severe neurological condition in Guadeloupe.

 Based on research to date, there is scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and GBS.

 Sequencing of the virus that causes the Zika outbreak in Cabo Verde showed that the virus is of the Asian lineage and the same as the one that circulates in Brazil.

 The third meeting of the Emergency Committee (EC) convened by the Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) regarding microcephaly, other neurological disorders and Zika virus was held by on 14 June 2016.

 The global Strategic Response Framework launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) in February 2016 encompasses surveillance, response activities and research. An interim report6 has been published on some of the key activities being undertaken jointly by WHO and international, regional and national partners in response to this public health emergency. A revised strategy for the period of July 2016 to December 2017 was published on 17 June.

 WHO has developed new advice and information on diverse topics in the context of Zika virus.8 WHO’s latest information materials, news and resources to support corporate and programmatic risk communication, and community engagement are available online.9