The Ebola Outbreak Just Got More Fierce

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Africa’s most populous country has confirmed its first ebola death, from a traveller from the Liberia. In the meantime, Liberia is going on lockdown and two American aid workers have been sickened. Jina Moore of Buzzfeed offers an excellent dispatch from Lagos, Nigeria. “Nigeria has begun medical testing at all ports of entry for passengers coming from Ebola-affected countries after a Liberian traveler died of the disease in Lagos on Friday. Passengers from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia — as well as any passenger from any departure point who appears ill upon arrival — must be tested for Ebola, an often fatal virus. Anyone positive will be quarantined.” (BuzzFeed http://bzfd.it/1rxj30S)

The Liberian government closed most of its border crossings and introduced stringent health measures to curb the spread of the deadly Ebola virus that has killed at least 660 people across the region. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1q9Hkcq)

A second American aid worker stationed at a Liberian hospital tested positive for the Ebola virus on Sunday, a week after an infected man brought the disease by plane to Nigeria.  (Fox News http://fxn.ws/1rxi0Ou)

Security Council Calls for Gaza Ceasefire. It Breaks Down Quickly…”A fragile truce in Gaza for a Muslim holiday broke down Monday as a mortar shell fired from the Palestinian territory killed four Israeli soldiers, prompting the army to resume attacks on Hamas militants. The renewed fighting killed a fifth Israeli soldier inside Gaza, Israel said, while Gaza health officials said at least 18 Palestinians were killed…An emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council called for “an immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire,” echoing U.S. President Barack Obama’s appeal in a phone call to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday.”(WSJ http://on.wsj.com/1rxk8G3)

Africa

Sweden has resumed financial aid to Uganda after suspending some assistance in March over a law widely condemned by donor nations that increases punishment for homosexuals. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1q9GHPX)

The UN’s FAO is warning people in West African countries about a link between eating wildlife and the disease Ebola. The FAO says it is especially worried about the fruit bat. (VOA http://bit.ly/WJLVd3)

More than 130,000 people who live in 42 fishing villages along Uganda’s shores of Lake Victoria have an HIV-infection rate that is three to four times higher than the national average in this country of 36 million people. (VOA http://bit.ly/1q9OUU9)

Despite legislative and societal hostility, Uganda’s gay rights activists refuse to take a step back. (Think Africa Press http://bit.ly/1pwpajl)

MENA

Lebanon’s inability to store water efficiently, water pollution and its misuse both in agriculture and for domestic purposes, have put great pressure on the resource. (IPS http://bit.ly/1q9G6Ob)

Migrant workers who built luxury offices used by Qatar’s 2022 football World Cup organisers say they have not been paid for more than a year and are now working illegally from cockroach-infested lodgings. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1q9Izbv)

The Gaza police operations room and a Palestinian health official say separate Israeli airstrikes hit the compound of Gaza City’s main hospital, causing casualties. (AP http://yhoo.it/1rS5Am8)

Asia

People in Asia who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transsexual often find themselves victims of violence from family members, who in fact are often the main perpetrators, according to a recent report by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. (IPS http://bit.ly/1q9FCHQ)

The planned construction of 88 hydroelectric dams in the lower Mekong basin by 2030 will cause food security challenges in Cambodia, experts say. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1q9HAbm)

The Philippines on Sunday welcomed its 100-millionth citizen — a baby girl named Chonalyn who was born at a hospital in the capital, Manila. But the celebration is mixed with concern in the Philippines, a predominantly Catholic country with one of the fastest growing populations in Asia. Many in the country struggle to meet the basic necessities of life. (NPR http://n.pr/WJKfQV)

A group of 157 Sri Lankan asylum seekers has arrived at a detention camp in Australia, government officials said on Monday, after having been held at sea by authorities for almost a month, sparking a legal challenge. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1q9QrK0)

Pacific island leaders will renew calls for meaningful action on climate change at a regional summit opening in Palau today, amid fears rising seas will swamp their low-lying nations. (Yahoo http://yhoo.it/1q9RrOb)

New legislation recently passed in the southwest Pacific Island state of Papua New Guinea outlawing polygamy has been welcomed by experts in the country as an initial step forward in the battle against high rates of domestic violence, gender inequality and the spread of AIDS. (IPS http://bit.ly/1pwovyj)

The Americas

Argentina’s government is resuming negotiations in a dispute with US. creditors that risks sending the country into default this week. (AP http://yhoo.it/1q9TPo8)

Opinion/Blogs

A conversation with Daniel Drezner about the new BRICS Development Bank and his book about how international institutions responded to the 2008 financial crisis. (Global Dispatches Podcast http://bit.ly/WKicR6)

Sanitation For All: Ignore Quality at Your Own Peril (People, Spaces, Deliberation http://bit.ly/X4DusM)

How Not to Teach Children about Poverty (NYU Development Research Institute http://bit.ly/X4CvZt)

How enormous stories go unreported all the time (Campaign for Boring Development http://bit.ly/1zmHdjf)

Africa’s Last Colony (Africa is a Country http://bit.ly/X4EOvF)

Research/Reports

A UN panel opens a three-day meeting on the ageing of the global population. It’s part of a process that could lead to a new international treaty to protect the rights of older persons. (VOA http://bit.ly/1rS5Q4L)

Blockages to preventing malnutrition in Kambia, Sierra Leone: a semi-quantitative causal analysis (SLRC http://bit.ly/1zmHLpf)

Global solutions to save the world’s oceans

European Commission

[Check Against Delivery]

Maria Damanaki

European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

Global solutions to save the world’s oceans

“Re-energising the Oceans” conference

Brussels, 30 June 2014

Dear co-chairs of the GOC, ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning and welcome to “Re-Energising the Oceans”.

Some of us have seen quite a lot of each other lately, in what we affectionately call now “the June of the oceans”: a month that has been dense with high-level appointments on ocean governance.

And it’s not just June: in the past few months discussions have gained pace, declarations have multiplied. Importantly, the media are starting to pick up the story of the oceans, and this is very positive. People should be aware of the issues at stake.

When the Global Ocean Commission was created, with the goal of finding workable solutions and feasible ideas on those issues, I was hopeful and relieved. Here in Europe, I was already trying to make a difference on ocean governance and painfully aware of the magnitude of problems.

Now, a year later, their Report comes with perfect timing. It will help to take the momentum further and energise the discussions that we have only just started.

When the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea was signed thirty-two years ago, it was a turning point in ocean governance.

And as Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, I am proud to say that the Convention has guided the EU ever since.

But three decades later, just like the internet calls for rules against cybercrime, new bio-technologies or underwater systems call on us to regulate new activities especially in deep sea waters, in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

The current system is fragmented and uncoordinated. So far we have tried to palliate with ad-hoc arrangements between different bodies and countries, but in essence the system is ineffective. For instance it prevents us from having cumulative impact assessments or from having the marine protected areas recognized globally.

The kind of coordination we need can only be obtained through a systematic process; and this is why the European Union is so committed to an update of the rules through UNCLOS.

Clearly only a mix of elements would work, as the UN Working Group already agreed to in 2011: marine protected areas, environmental impact assessments, capacity building and rules on the transfer of marine technology, genetic resources and benefit sharing.

So let us agree to make progress; let us do away with any outstanding issues. The EU will work with all countries to ensure that we have a satisfactory result by August 2015.

Within the EU we have introduced transformational change with regard to fisheries. Since 1/1/2014 we have a new common fisheries policy, sustainable and science based, phasing out discarding and implementing the same principles for European vessels worldwide. Through this new policy we have banned all types of subsidies at European level, that lead to overcapacity and overfishing. Our European fund has no granting for fuel subsidies at all.

Allow me now to come to a global problem also mentioned in GOC report: illegal fisheries

Illegal fishing has to be eradicated from the high seas, and this is why the EU uses its diplomatic weight to push for rules like the UNCLOS or the United Nations Fish Stock Agreement to be enforced worldwide.

We also use our considerable market weight and I’m grateful to the Global Oceans Commission for highlighting this important aspect in its paper. In practice the EU requires that any fish import be accompanied by a catch certificate. In other words the fish has to be caught legally; otherwise it won’t get into our market. And we go further.

We work with other world nations to promote compliance with international law. When a country clearly does not respect its international obligations, we give them a fair warning and time to set things straight. We have done so with 13 countries in the last two years. Ten of them then complied, but three didn’t. So earlier this year the EU adopted our first ever trade ban with Cambodia, Belize and Guinea Conakry.

In just over four years the EU has become the frontrunner in the fight against IUU and we are making a difference. Many third countries are now taking their international duties much seriously.

The EU is also stepping up its efforts to address the marine litter problem. It has agreed to set a reduction target for marine litter by 2020, to move towards Rio + 20 commitments. We In European Commission are going to propose this target soon.

On offshore oil and gas the EU has put in place the highest risk based standards for operation within its territory. We well come of course binding efforts for reducing risk, as well as ensuring effective emerging response, regardless of where operations take place, in line with the polluter pays principle.

The other soft spot identified by the Global Oceans Commission is the performance of RFMOs. We cannot ignore their presence. I think the focus at least for right now should be on improving what we have.

How? – you may ask.

We start from the basics – at least that is what the EU has done. Our new reformed policy now tells us what to do: we are to improve the compliance committees of RFMOs, develop scientific knowledge and advice, manage stocks on a sustainable basis, apply effective and deterring penalties, carry out performance reviews and fix what needs to be fixed.

All this renews the thrust for our work in RFMOs, so I very much welcome the urgency you bring into this discussion. The GOC has made a recommendation for turning the high seas into a regeneration zone in case of no results. The vision is clear and high ambitious. The European Union clearly supports the establishment of marine Protected areas. Referring to the closing of all high seas fisheries we have a number of questions and concerns on the consequences for the fisheries in other areas and the complicated governance issues of such decisions. This issue needs further examination and discussion to be based on science, impartial decision making procedures and control mechanisms.

Ladies and gentlemen,

What is needed at international level is a change of perspective. We need to see the bigger picture. A holistic and comprehensive approach is the basic requirement for a healthy and resilient marine environment. As I said: no fences. Integration is the name of the game. It is gaining ground in all our Member States and beyond, as is our blue growth agenda. So far we have given special attention to promising maritime sectors such as marine biotech, aquaculture, ocean energy, deep sea mining and tourism. We think that with a focused research effort and steps to improve the environment for innovation, these sectors can prosper in a smart and sustainable way.

A key tool to ensure sufficient marine space for concurrent economic activities is maritime spatial planning. If all goes well our legislative proposal should enter into force after the summer and it is a historic achievement. For the first time in the world, countries have a legal obligation to cooperate in planning their seas across borders.

Spatial planning gives operators certainty on whether and what economic developments are possible, where and for how long. It will speed up licensing and permit procedures, and will provide good management of the cumulative impact of maritime activities. It a huge and real step for marine governance in Europe.

At the same time there is also an overall need to get a deeper and better understanding of how our oceans work, how they interact with the climate and how economic activities affect the marine environment.

Ocean observation, mapping and forecasting are essential in this vein. This is why the EU has directly and explicitly geared its financial support, and particularly its research funds, towards the sea.

Since last year, the EU, the United States and Canada have started a transatlantic research alliance which is to cover observing systems and ocean stressors, as well as research in the Arctic region, a fragile environment that is undergoing enormous change in terms of temperature and human activity.

We hope to see similar forms of cooperation with and between other countries in the future.

Needless to say, the private sector will have a big role to play in this sustainable growth model. Any firm operating in transport, oil and gas, fisheries, aquaculture or coastal tourism is entirely dependent on ocean resources, services and space. They will have to take up a corresponding responsibility for marine environmental protection, in Europe and in the world.

To conclude, ladies and gentlemen,

The EU perspective to the ocean challenge is one of caution and common sense. We don’t want to open up the seas to unbridled growth or a lawless gold rush. But we think that controlled, smart and fair development is possible.

We need cooperation with international community, to create one common front. And we need it now.

Now, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco has been kind enough to send us a video, let us listen to his views.

Thank you.

IOM Asia Regional Director Assesses Cambodia Border Response as Movements Approach 180,000

Cambodia – Some 180,000 undocumented Cambodian migrants are estimated to have crossed back into their country from Thailand in an exodus which started ten days ago and is only now showing signs of slowing.

Another 10,000 migrants are expected to make the crossing today at the Poi Pet border post, as IOM continues to work alongside the Cambodian government to provide transport to prevent a dangerous bottleneck of returning migrant workers.

While the reasons for the mass movement are unclear, it appears that most of the undocumented Cambodian migrants believed to have been in Thailand are now back in their homeland. But IOM cautions that earlier estimates of the number of Cambodians in Thailand may not be accurate.

Conditions at the border are basic, but there is no indication that the humanitarian situation is giving any cause for alarm, thanks to an efficient transport pipeline that continues to function from early morning until late at night.

IOM Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific Andrew Bruce visited Poi Pet yesterday to assess the IOM-led humanitarian operation, which is supplementing the Cambodian government’s own efforts.

IOM has been hiring coaches to provide free transport back to their home provinces for the most vulnerable migrants, mainly women travelling with children. Males, who make up more than 60 per cent of the caseload, are being asked to travel in military trucks. So far, IOM has directly assisted almost 6,000 of the most urgent cases.

“While it appears that we are now past the peak migrant flows, now we are taking nothing for granted and we will stay here, funds permitting, until there is no longer a need for our services,” said Mr Bruce. “This rapid movement of people is unprecedented in this region in recent years, outside of conflict and natural disasters.”

IOM’s intervention is being undertaken by a small team of international and Cambodian staff in Poi Pet, backed up by the national office in the capital Phnom Penh and the regional office in Bangkok, Thailand.

A medical doctor has joined the team from IOM’s office in Myanmar. She is ensuring that all migrants under IOM’s care are fit to travel, and is also offering advice and support to local medical staff.

“While IOM is leading the response to this migration crisis we are extremely grateful to our partners in the UN Country Teams in Cambodia, as well as NGOs and local individuals who are providing various types of assistance to migrants on the border,” said Bruce.

“Naturally we are also thankful for the financial support we have received from donors. This situation could have quickly become life-threatening, had we not acted swiftly and decisively.”

For more information please contact:

In Phnom Penh:

Leul Mekonnen, Email: lmekonnen@iom.int – Tel.  +855 12 900 131

In Poi Pet:

Brett Dickson, Email: bdickson@iom.int – Tel. +855 12 222 132

Joe Lowry, Email: jlowry@iom.int – Tel. +66 81 870 8081

See also @IOMasiapacific on Twitter and IOM on Facebook.

Top of the Morning: Scores of World Cup Fans Killed in Shebab Attack

Al Shebab strikes again. “At least 50 people were killed when gunmen in two minibuses sped into a town on Kenya’s coast, shooting soccer fans watching a World Cup match in a television hall and targeting two hotels, a police post and a bank, officials and witnesses said on Monday. Police said Somalia’s al Shabaab Islamist group was most likely to blame for Sunday night’s assault on the town of Mpeketoni, which lies on the Indian Ocean coastline that runs north from Kenya’s main port of Mombasa to the Somali border. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1vsM8gz)

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Africa

At least two people were killed and 15 prisoners escaped after a suspected Islamist militant detainee shot his way out of the main jail in Mali’s capital Bamako on Monday, a government official said. (Reuters http://reut.rs/1nLAvOx)

Thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets on Sunday in Niger’s capital Niamey to demand that authorities respect civil liberties, following the arrest of several of their number last month. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1vsMJPm)

The daughter of Sudanese opposition leader Sadiq al-Mahdi said there can be no national political dialogue in Sudan when everything people say is criminalized and there is lack of press and religious freedom. (VOA http://bit.ly/1qksTpn)

Civilians displaced by brutal fighting in South Sudan are ignoring calls from government officials to return to their homes, preferring the safety of squalid UN bases to the risk that conflict could again engulf towns already devastated in the six-month conflict. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1qktqYp)

The recent successful holding of legislative and presidential elections has raised hopes that Guinea-Bissau can move closer to the end of a two-year political crisis marked by international isolation and a devastating economic decline. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1vsOPPb)

Concern is mounting that British aid money may be funding police who are using rape as a tool of state-sanctioned torture against women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1qkv3W2)

MENA

The United States has ruled out co-ordinated military action with Iran as one of the options being considered to thwart radical Islamic extremists in Iraq as Sunni Muslim fighters seized another Iraqi city. (Irish Times http://bit.ly/1nLAmuw)

Once again Israelis are gripped by the horror of their young people being abducted, apparently by Palestinian extremists, and the army is pulling out all the stops to retrieve them. (Globe and Mail http://bit.ly/1nLArhL)

Asia

More than 60,000 people have fled North Waziristan Agency to safer parts of Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan as Pakistan’s military launches an offensive in the region. Most of the people fleeing are children, and mental health experts are concerned that they will not have access to proper trauma care. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1vt89f8)

Thailand’s military government ended a rice price-support scheme, put in place under the former civilian government, as investigations continue into widespread corruption and losses of billions of dollars from the program. (VOA http://bit.ly/1qktiYK)

Authorities in southern Sri Lanka say three people have died in clashes between Buddhists and Muslims. (VOA http://bit.ly/1vsO0WC)

A low level of knowledge about sexual abuse is leaving Cambodia’s children vulnerable to harm, and a new report shows that despite sex education initiatives in recent years, a poor understanding by parents and children of what sexual abuse is, persists. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1vsRmJ3)

Thailand’s junta denied on Monday that they were pursuing a “sweep and clean” policy of driving illegal foreign workers out of the country. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1vsTdh7)

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said it is up to the will of the people of her country if she becomes their president, reacting Monday to a vote against changing a constitutional clause that bars her from the office. (AP http://yhoo.it/1qkvQWV)

The Americas

The US Supreme Court has turned away Argentina’s appeal of lower court rulings ordering it to pay more than $1.3 billion to hedge funds that hold some of the country’s defaulted bonds. (AP http://yhoo.it/1vsWLzM)

Opinion/Blogs

Mark speaks with former US Ambassador to the UN Tom Pickering about the faltering Israel-Palestine peace process, his role in shaping US policy during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and an awkward phone call with President-elect George H.W. Bush, who tapped him to serve as US Ambassador to the UN during the run-up to the Gulf War. (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1nfGEAO)

Zimbabwe Registrar General’s Claim That Contraception Causes Cancer Is Misleading and Alarmist (AfricaCheck http://bit.ly/1iBvBzb)

Are Impact Evaluations Enough?  The Social Observatory Approach to Doing-by-Learning (Development Impact http://bit.ly/1i12QRk)

Are we measuring the right things? The latest multidimensional poverty index is launched today – what do you think? (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/1nfGCJ8)

Brazil’s World Cup: The Good, Bad & Unequal (World Policy Institute http://bit.ly/1nfHX2z)

Please Do Not Teach This Woman to Fish (FP http://atfp.co/1i17a3c)

Quantitative versus qualitative measurement, the contest (Chris Blattman http://bit.ly/1i17Sxn)

Understanding food security through a gendered lens (IDS http://bit.ly/1kYaKL7)

Research/Reports

Aid insiders fret that major NGOs have become too big and have lost the flexibility and responsiveness they once had. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1qktQ0W)

Economic inequality is now center stage in the global debate, and the World Economic Forum asserts that this issue is the single biggest risk facing the planet. (CNN http://cnn.it/1vsRxEg)

MEDIA ADVISORY – European Commission and Global Partnership for Education – Pledging Conference 26 June 2014

European Commission

MEMO

Brussels, 6 June 2014

MEDIA ADVISORY – European Commission and Global Partnership for Education – Pledging Conference

26 June 2014

What

The Global Partnership for Education and the European Commission are co-hosting the Second Replenishment Pledging Conference of the Global Partnership for Education, a multilateral body committed to ensuring every child has access to a quality, basic education.

It will bring together more than 500 key players in education to show their commitment to education by making solid pledges at the conference.

Why

To ensure that the right of all children to a basic education is fulfilled! The benefits of education to health, economic development and stability are clear, yet aid funding for education has fallen by an average of five percent each year since 2010.

Still, 57 million children do not go to school and more than half of them are girls. A further 250 million children drop out of school or are unable to perform basic literacy and numeracy tasks by the time they reach grade four.

Girls are more likely than boys to drop out, and girls from poor families in rural areas are least likely to have access to education.

When

June 26, 2014, from 9.00 to 18.00

Where

The Egg, Rue Bara 175, Brussels, Belgium

Participants

  1. Julia Gillard, Chair of the Global Partnership for Education and former Prime Minister of Australia

  2. Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Augustin Matata Ponyo;

  3. Education ministers of more than 40 developing countries, including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Niger and Senegal;

  4. Ministers from donor countries, including Australia, Denmark, Norway, Ireland and the United Kingdom;

  5. Representatives of the United Nations, including UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova and UN Special Envoy for Education, Gordon Brown;

  6. Representatives of the European institutions, including EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, and EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva.

Media Opportunities

  1. Media are welcome to attend all sessions on the agenda and will be able to follow commitments made in the pledging zone via a live feed.

  2. A media workspace with wifi will be available

  3. A press conference will take place after the closing session (at 16.30), with EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs and Julia Gillard, Chair of the Global Partnership for Education and former Prime Minister of Australia.

  4. A media briefing by UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova, announcing the new global figures on out-of-school children (at 10.15)

  5. Possibility to request interviews with other participants in advance

Please complete the online registration by June 16, 2014, here. After that date, please contact GPE-Replenishment@globalpartnership.org or Alexandra Humme

The agenda of the event is available here

Media contacts

From the Global Partnership for Education: Alexandra Humme or Katy Cronin

From the European Commission: Stacey Vickers or Maria Sanchez

Background

The Global Partnership for Education aims to raise US$3.5 billion (€2.57bn) during 2015-2018. Developing country partners are being asked to pledge to increase domestic financing for education towards 20 percent of their domestic budgets. A successful replenishment will enable the Global Partnership for Education to support the schooling of 29 million children in 66 countries and to increase the quality of the education being provided

The Global Partnership for Education is made up of nearly 60 developing country governments, as well as donor governments, civil society and non-governmental organizations, teacher organizations, international organisations, and the private sector and foundations.

For more information on the Global Partnership for Education, click here

For more information on the European Commission’s work on education in developing countries, click here

Top of the Morning: No Texting in CAR

Seriously. “Mobile phone users in the Central African Republic who try to send text messages are getting the response: “SMS not allowed”. “The use of any SMS by all mobile phone subscribers is suspended from Monday June 2, 2014, until further notice,” the ministry said in a letter to mobile phone operators in the conflict-torn country. It said the decision was made by Prime Minister Andre Nzapayeke. Since last week there has been a resurge of violence in the capital Bangui, as well as a call for a general strike relayed by SMS in the past few days.. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1nOJUb6)

Conflict Minerals Legislation Taking Effect…For the first time, nearly 1,300 UScompanies have filed reports on whether the products they manufacture or sell are made with minerals that have bankrolled conflict in the Great Lakes region of central Africa. (IPS http://bit.ly/1pRlQRX)

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Africa

UNICEF officials in South Sudan said that men in uniform are occupying at least 30 schools in five different states, interrupting the education of tens of thousands of children whose lives have already been disrupted by six months of conflict. (VOA http://bit.ly/1nOGPrz)

Health officials are warning that a cholera outbreak in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, which has left 23 people dead and forced more than 670 others to seek treatment, could be getting worse. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1pRj0fV)

South Sudan can only avoid famine if a shaky ceasefire holds and people displaced by more than five months of fighting are able to return home in the next few weeks to plant crops before the rains, a senior U.N. official said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1nOIFJ3)

Senior United Nations officials are in the DR Congo to draw attention to the fact that continued insecurity and a decrease in financial resources is causing millions of people to go hungry. (UN News Centre http://bit.ly/1pRm8s7)

As security forces in Kenya continue to round up and detain thousands of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, most of them Somali, an agreement between the UNHCR and the Kenyan and Somali governments on the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees is coming under strain. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1pRiSwE)

While the number of patients appeared to be in decline, new cases of Ebola have been reported in Guinea and Sierra Leone. The virus has already affected more than 300 people in West Africa. (MSF http://bit.ly/1pRp1ZK)

MENA

Separate groups of gunmen in Libya shot dead a Swiss national working for the International Committee of the Red Cross, fired a grenade at the prime minister’s office and tried to kill a renegade general on Wednesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1nOMmOP)

Saudi Arabia announced a jump of nearly 50 percent in deaths from the MERS virus after re-examining old data that also showed the number of infections since 2012 was a fifth higher than previously reported. (VOA http://bit.ly/1nOGxRD

The International Organization for Migration reports tens of thousands of migrants have been rescued while making the perilous sea crossing from Libya to Italy this year. (VOA http://bit.ly/1pRjmCZ)

Asia

The coup in Thailand is causing problems for hundreds of thousands of migrant workers from neighboring Cambodia and Burma. (VOA http://bit.ly/1nOGIfP)

Indonesia’s health ministry and child protection advocates are calling for chemical castration for convicted pedophiles. (VOA http://bit.ly/1nOH0mR)

Japan has temporarily halted its official development assistance to Vietnam as Hanoi continues its probe into bribery allegations on a railway project. (VOA http://bit.ly/1pRjMcx)

The World Food Program says it distributed more than 2,500 tons of food in North Korea last month, the largest amount so far this year. (VOA http://bit.ly/1pRk0k3)

United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay called on China to reveal the truth about the army’s violent suppression of mass pro-democracy protests on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square 25 years ago. (AP http://yhoo.it/1nOJEsF)

The Americas

Mexico increased the minimum prison sentences for kidnapping to 40 years after a dramatic surge in the crime in recent years. (BBC http://bbc.in/1nOFXmI)

Although Venezuela has 520 long rivers, taps often run dry, many poor neighbourhoods depend on tanker trucks, water rationing remains a reality, and in some areas water quality is very poor. (IPS http://bit.ly/StJMzt)

Opinion/Blogs

Making Democracy Soup in Africa: how one bad ingredient can spoil the lot (African Arguments http://bit.ly/1hajpdf)

Is Brazil’s social/economic miracle running out of steam just as the World Cup arrives? (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/1kLQjvE)

Will US take global environmental lead by cutting coal emissions? (Humanosphere http://bit.ly/1nOI764)

Why Malawi took so long to declare an election winner (ODI http://bit.ly/1ocLu4p)

The importance of Live Below The Poverty Line (WhyDev http://bit.ly/1jSiicY)

Lessons for Australia from DFID’s underperforming private sector development efforts (DevPolicy http://bit.ly/1ocLQYQ)

The New Chinese-Backed Infrastructure Bank: Will it Tame the Corruption Dragon? (The Global Anticorruption Blog http://bit.ly/1jSjsW2)

Research/Reports

Aiding institutional reform in developing countries: lessons from the Philippines on what works, what doesn’t and why (ODI http://bit.ly/1pRj9Qk)

What non-food items best meet needs of women and girls in emergency situations? (GSDRC http://bit.ly/1pRlLxG)

Italy announced plans to give citizenship to children born of refugees who have been granted asylum, as the government faced growing anti-immigrant sentiment over an influx of migrant arrivals by sea. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1pRoFm9)

The UK government’s $629 million Newton Fund aims to ‘end the need for aid’ in 15 countries by fostering ties between researchers in developing countries and the UK that will boost their economic development. (SciDevNet http://bit.ly/1nOQ0Z6)

75% of Australians think poverty reduction most important for aid: Lowy Poll (DevPolicy http://bit.ly/1jSjfC5)

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UNODC launches consumer awareness brochure on counterfeiting and organized crime

Photo: UNODC05 June 2014 – To coincide with World Anti-Counterfeiting Day, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has launched a new consumer awareness brochure on the links between counterfeiting and organized crime. Available from www.unodc.org/counterfeit, the brochure complements UNODC’s campaign – ‘Counterfeit: Don’t buy into organized crime’ – and has been developed specifically with consumers in mind in a bid to reduce demand for this $250 billion a year concern.

The brochure takes into account the unique position of consumers to encourage change through their choices and behaviour. By highlighting some of the key harms attached to counterfeit goods, the brochure urges this group to be aware of just how risky purchasing these items can be both to themselves and to the wider community. The significant health and safety concerns behind counterfeits are raised, as is the manner in which the illicit trafficking and sale of these goods provides criminals with a significant source of income. Serious issues, such as labour exploitation and environmental damage, are also covered to illustrate just two of the many repercussions of this crime.

“Counterfeiting fuels other crimes such as corruption and money laundering, and often overlaps with  trafficking of drugs, guns and human beings,” said UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov. “For this reason, there is a pressing need to tackle counterfeiting, particularly by convincing consumers to reduce the demand for these illicit goods.”

In recognition of the organization’s work on this topic and the international campaign which was launched in January, UNODC is also being presented today with the 2014 Global Anti-Counterfeiting Award. This, the second award to be presented to UNODC, comes as a recognition of the importance of awareness-raising in order to bolster understanding of some of the often overlooked aspects of this crime.

Since its launch, the campaign has enjoyed significant exposure. In particular, the Public Service Announcement, entitled ‘Look Behind’, has been well received in a number of markets. Spanning the globe and stretching as far as Cambodia in South East Asia and Argentina in South America, the PSA has been broadcast more than 10,000 times on over 30 national and international stations, including on Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, Deutsche Welle, France 24, National Geographic and Sky.

Further information:

UNODC’s anti-counterfeit campaign

UNODC’s Public Service Announcement on counterfeiting and organized crime

Canada’s Defence Relations in the Asia-Pacific Region

As a Pacific country, Canada considers its relations with its Asia-Pacific neighbours a priority. Canadian security and prosperity are linked to the vitality of Asia’s economy and the stability of the region. In support of this agenda, the Department of National Defence (DND) and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are committed to strengthening peace and security in the region and enhancing their engagement in Asia-Pacific.

From our commitment of resources towards humanitarian and relief efforts following Typhoon Haiyan, to our participation in regional military exercises and high-level defence fora, we are proud of the steps that we have taken in recent years to bolster defence relations and increase cooperation with Canada’s partners in the Asia-Pacific region.

Multilateral Defence Relations and Regional Military Exercises

Multilateral Defence Relations

Contemporary defence and security challenges in the Asia-Pacific region, such as criminal networks, territorial disputes, natural disasters, terrorism, as well as concerns about the freedom of movement at sea can reach beyond the borders of a single state and affect the security and defence of the entire region. Responding to these challenges and mitigating their effects demands multilateral, regional responses: concerted, cooperative efforts that involve many countries pooling their resources, coordinating their efforts, and increasing interoperability between armed forces.

Multilateral defence relations are an important component of Canada’s overall engagement in the Asia-Pacific region. From a defence perspective, DND/CAF supports Canada’s diplomatic relationships in part by participating in a number of high-level multilateral defence meetings and conferences. An important example is the annual International Institute for Strategic Studies’ Asia Security Summit in Singapore. This premier, inter-governmental event is a crucial venue for dialogue on the security and defence of the region, and is attended by ministers and chiefs of defence from Asia-Pacific and beyond. This year, General Tom Lawson, chief of the Defence Staff of the Canadian Armed Forces and Richard Fadden, Deputy Minister of National Defence, attended the Summit, which was an opportunity to exchange best practices and discuss opportunities for increasing collaboration with Asian partners and other traditional partners and allies in areas such as peacekeeping, civil-military relations, maritime security, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief.

Another important example of high-level defence conferences that support Canada’s defence relations is the United States Pacific Command Chiefs of Defence Conference. This important meeting is attended by chiefs of defence including General Lawson, as well as other senior military leaders in the Asia-Pacific region. At the Chiefs of Defence Conference, these senior military leaders discuss mutual security challenges and encourage security cooperation.

Perhaps the most important example of Canada’s multilateral relations in the Asia-Pacific region is Canada’s engagement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN as well as its member states (Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) which dates back to 1977. As the cornerstone of Canada’s multilateral relations in the Asia-Pacific region, ASEAN provides a forum for Canada to take part in an important dialogue on regional defence and security issues.

Under the ASEAN organizational umbrella, Canada also participates in the ASEAN Regional Forum, which is designed to strengthen cooperation amongst member states to foster peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region. Canada is committed to contributing further to the Asia-Pacific security architecture and has announced its interest in participating in the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus and the East Asia Summit. The CAF have also taken part in other regional exercises such as the ASEAN Regional Forum’s disaster relief exercise (DiREx).

Regional Military Exercises

The CAF is involved in a number of regional exercises that support multilateral defence relations. For example, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) continues to be engaged in a number of military exercises and deployments throughout the Asia-Pacific region. These cooperative endeavours serve to foster invaluable relationships and connections between the RCN and the navies of other countries in the region. For example, More than 1,000 Canadian sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen will participate in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), the world’s premier combined and joint maritime exercise, from June 27 to August 1, 2014, in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime military exercise, involving forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, People’s Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States. Canada has participated in every iteration since RIMPAC’s inception in 1971.

Canada is also a major participant in the Ulchi Freedom Guardian Exercise, which tests the operational control of the combined forces on the Korean peninsula. For the last 3 years, the CAF contingent has been the largest amongst the Sending States.  Canada also participated in the Key Resolve/Foal Eagle exercise series in South Korea for the past 2 years, which is a field training exercise designed to improve the combined and joint operational posture of South Korean and U.S. military forces.  

Canada also participates in the KHAAN QUEST series of exercises, hosted by the Mongolian Armed Forces and co-sponsored by the Mongolian Armed Forces, U.S.Army Pacific and the Alaskan Air National Guard, under the U.S. Department of Defense Humanitarian and Civic Assistance program. The exercises are designed to enhance individual and professional readiness and tactical interoperability in the delivery of humanitarian assistance between regional partners. This year the exercise will take place from 18 June to 2 July.

Bilateral Defence Relations

Bilateral, country-to-country defence relations between Canada and individual Asia-Pacific states are another important component of Canada’s defence relations in the region. In addition to bilateral defence relations with partners in the Asia-Pacific region as described below, Canada signed a Canada-U.S. Asia-Pacific Defense Policy Cooperation Framework with the U.S. in November 2013. This Framework provides the foundation for Canada and the U.S. to coordinate the conduct of recurring and mutually reinforcing defence-related engagement activities with our Asian partners. 

Bilateral Defence Relations: North East Asia

In support of a whole-of-government approach that seeks to enhance Canada’s bilateral relationships with North East Asian countries, the DND and CAF are engaged in initiatives in China, Japan, and South Korea.

Canada recognizes that China is an important economic and military power. The DND and CAF have growing relations with the Ministry of National Defence of the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, and will continue to engage in dialogue about  issues of regional and international security. Canada has been advancing this emerging bilateral defence relationship through several high-level meetings in March 2012, and June 2013 in China involving senior DND and CAF officials and China’s People’s Liberation Army officials.  At the 2013 meeting, Canada and China agreed to establish a Defence Coordination Dialogue to discuss defence issues of mutual concern and affirmed their intent to establish a Cooperation Plan Initiative between the People’s Liberation Army and Canada’s Defence Team, which would guide defence-related activities. Building on these exchanges, the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, and the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Tom Lawson, met with General Chang Wanquan for a bilateral exchange in Ottawa in August 2013.  At the meeting, Minister Nicholson and General Chang signed the Cooperation Plan Initiative.

Japan is a valued regional and global security partner. We share a common set of values and interests, including promoting and upholding democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, access to open markets, arms control, and disarmament. These values  have created steady defence relations between Canada and Japan on a number of regional and global issues. Bilateral agreements, such as the 2010 Canada-Japan Joint Declaration on Political, Peace and Security Cooperation greatly contribute to deepening this defence relationship. Canada also cooperates with Japan on issues such as defence policy, interoperability and cross-services, nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, disaster prevention and emergency response and peacekeeping. During a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on September 23, 2013, Prime Minister Harper announced agreement in principle on a Treaty. Known as the Canada-Japan Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), the Treaty, once approved by both countries’ parliamentary processes, will be a milestone for the bilateral defence relationship.  The ACSA will enable Canadian Armed Forces and Japan’s Self-Defense Force units to exchange basic goods and services wherever both forces are cooperating, such as during training, exercises, and a limited range of operations, notably humanitarian assistance missions.

Canada has long enjoyed positive bilateral defence relations with the Republic of Korea. These defence relations have a foundation in the Canadian contribution to the Korean War and have evolved into a rich history of strong political and economic partnerships and cooperation. This relationship continues to advance.  Contributing to this relationship are a number of high-level visits, such as  Prime Minister Harper’s March 2014 visit to Seoul. Canada also fosters bilateral relations with South Korea through bilateral defence agreements, such as the Mutual Logistics Support Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which enables improved logistical exchange and increased interoperability between Canada and South Korea’s military forces.

Canada and South Korea continue to explore new areas and avenues of cooperation, including through enhanced collaboration during key regional forums, and, specifically by continued CAF participation in exercises on the Korean Peninsula, such as Ulchi Freedom Guardian, Key Resolve and Foal Eagle.  

Bilateral Defence Relations: South East Asia

While Canada engages its South East Asian partners multilaterally through ASEAN, the DND/CAF are also growing defence relations and initiatives with our South East Asian neighbours on a bilateral basis. These defence relations reflect the priority the DND/CAF place on mutual security and cooperative interests. Some examples of bilateral defence cooperation across the region include:

  • High-level meetings, such as then-Minister of National Defence MacKay’s bilateral visits to Singapore and Thailand, in June 2012 during which Canada highlighted CAF/DND activities in South East Asia and emphasized our desire to contribute to security in the region. In 2012, General Lawson also attended the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) Chiefs of Defence Staff Conference and met with numerous Asia-Pacific counterparts. General Lawson also visited Thailand in 2013;
  • Ship visits, such as the February 2013 visit of HMCS Regina to Port Klang, Malaysia, and Manila, Philippines; and, 
  • Defence education cooperation in locations such as Brunei, for example, which hosted the Commandant of the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in winter 2013.

Bilateral Defence Relations: Oceania

Located in the Central and South Pacific Ocean, Canada has long enjoyed positive bilateral defence relations in Oceania, particularly with Australia and New Zealand, which are both members of the Five Eyes intelligence community.

Defence relations between Canada and Australia are deep and enduring, with Australia being one of Canada’s closest partners in the Asia-Pacific region and globally. We share a common outlook on international security issues as well as a like-minded approach to operations.  We have a solid foundation of defence cooperation including exercises, training, academic exchanges, high-level visits and current operations in Afghanistan. 

Recent high-level visits that support and foster defence relations with Australia have included then-Minister of National Defence MacKay’s visit to Australia in 2011. The trip was successful in strengthening the relationship and resulted in commitments to hold ministerial meetings, policy talks, and chief of defence meetings regularly.  Both the Minister and Chief of the Defence Staff General Lawson met with their Australian counterpart at the Shangri-La Dialogue in the spring of 2013 and have interacted over the last year at various NATO Ministerial and Chiefs of Defence meetings. Canada also has a Canadian defence attaché posted to Australia that is cross-accredited to New Zealand.

Canada and New Zealand also enjoy a robust history of defence cooperation. Historically, the CAF and the New Zealand Defence Forces (NZDF) have worked together in a number of international security operations, such as Afghanistan, Bosnia, and East Timor. A number of high-level visits have also taken place recently between Canada and New Zealand, such as the between the two countries’ Defence Ministers in September 2011, and Chief of the Defence Staff, General Tom Lawson’s meeting with his New Zealand counterpart in May 2013 during the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

Since 2005, the CAF and the NZDF have participated in CANZEX (Canada New Zealand Exchange), a program that includes joint training and enhances cooperation and interoperability between our militaries. The CAF also participates in programs such as REGULUS, a Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) training program.  The CAF recently participated in Operation RENDER SAFE 2013, Australia’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal support to the nations of the South West Pacific region.  In the case of New Zealand, the CAF participated in the 2013 edition of Exercise SOUTHERN KATIPO, which is a multi-nation, tri-service exercise to practice operational planning, execution and command and control of a deployed Combined Joint Task Force during an amphibious operation.

Bilateral Defence Relations: South West Asia

South West Asia covers the area from Afghanistan in the west to India in the east, and extends north as far as the former Soviet republics and south into the Indian Ocean. Canada has deep links to this region, which includes several members of the Commonwealth. A significant number of Canadian families trace their roots back to South West Asia, and Canada has made a major effort to promote security in the region, most significantly through our mission in Afghanistan.

Canada has an important and expanding relationship with India. Canada and India share common values, including a commitment to democracy and pluralism. High-level visits, such as Prime Minister Harper’s visit in 2012 and Governor General David Johnston’s visit of 2014, have underscored the importance of this relationship. Canada and India are exploring areas for future defence cooperation, including training exchanges.   Such activities help strengthen the defence and security relationship and promote cooperation.

Pakistan remains an important partner for Canada in the global fight against terrorism, and Canada and Pakistan continue to work together to enhance defence and security in the region. High-level visits supporting this relationship have included the May 2012 visit by Pakistan’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Khalid Shaheem Wynne, and the visit of Chief of Defence Staff General Lawson to Islamabad in March 2014.

Canada’s enduring relationship with Afghanistan continues after our military training mission ended in March 2014.  Canadians will not forget the sacrifices of the 158 CAF members who died working on behalf of Canada to help bring security to the Afghan people.  To ensure the future stability of a secure and democratic Afghanistan, Canada continues to provide financial support to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Canada’s ultimate goal remains to sustain the gains that have been made since the fall of the Taliban regime and help Afghans rebuild Afghanistan into a viable country that is better governed, more stable and secure, and never again a safe haven for terrorists.

The Military Training and Cooperation Program

An important instrument of defence diplomacy and part of the whole-of-government approach stated in the Canada First Defence Strategy, the Military Training and Cooperation Program (MTCP) involves:

  • Enhancing peace support operations’ interoperability among Canada’s partners;
  • Expanding and reinforcing Canadian bilateral defence relations;
  • Promoting Canadian democratic principles, the rule of law and the protection of human rights in the international arena; and,
  • Achieving influence in areas of strategic interest to Canada. 

The MTCP operates a number of training programs throughout the Asia-Pacific region, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Thailand. Other regional MTCP activities have included:

Adding Japan as an implementing partner of the MTCP. As an implementing partner, Japan contributed to the program by providing instructors/lecturers on the MTCP Civil Military Cooperation (CIMIC) tactical courses conducted in Tanzania (2012) and Senegal (2013), as well as on a UN Military Observer Course conducted in Indonesia (March 2014).

  • Naming Indonesia as an MTCP “Centre of Excellence”, with CAF and Indonesian forces partnering to provide training in Indonesia to military personnel from Asia-Pacific MTCP member states. Indonesia is both a priority member state of the MTCP and one of its top recipients (both in terms of budget and positions on courses). The MTCP provided training to over 180 personnel, including 45 positions in 2013-14 in courses on topics such as English language, peacekeeping, and public affairs, in addition to staff training such as National Security Studies and Canadian Security Studies. A successful Peace Support Seminar was conducted at the Indonesian Peace and Security Centre in July 2012 in partnership with the Indonesian National Armed Forces, which was followed by a Public Affairs Workshop in the fall. In 2013-2014, DND sponsored another Peace Support Workshop, a Civil Military Relations Workshop, and a UN Military Observer Course in Indonesia. In 2014-2015, the Directorate of Military and Training Cooperation (DMTC) plans to sponsor two Public Affairs workshops as well as a Strategic Peace Support Operations Course in Indonesia.
  • Offering 23 vacancies to Malaysia (up from 10 positions in 2012/2013) for courses in 2014-2015 for English-language training, staff training and peacekeeping operations. As of August 2014, DMTC will also post a logistics officer to support the Malaysian Peacekeeping Centre.
  • Granting 20 placements to Mongolian Armed Forces personnel in 2014-2015 for courses on English and French languages, peacekeeping missions, and junior officer-staff training.
  • Providing training over 150 military members from the Philippines since 1998. Members of the armed forces of the Philippines have participated in a variety of courses through the MTCP, as well as staff officer development training and peace support operations training.
  • Training over 354 Thai officers in Canada since 1985. In 2014-2015, 28 Thai officers will be offered training in peacekeeping, staff officer development, and English-language training.

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IOM calls for the inclusion of migrants in TB prevention and treatment strategies

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Geneva — In today’s increasingly mobile and interconnected world, migration has become an integral part of the lives of about 215 million international and 740 million internal migrants. It also profoundly affects the lives of their families back home, as well as people in communities of migrant origin, transit and destination world-wide.

“On World TB Day, we note that despite well-established diagnosis and treatment regimens, TB remains a public health burden in many parts of the world, disproportionately affecting poor and marginalized populations, such as migrants. TB prevention and control efforts often do not address the specific vulnerabilities of migrants and we therefore frequently see delayed diagnosis and/or discontinued treatment of TB,” says IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. “The absence of targeted TB prevention, control and surveillance strategies for migrants is a barrier to reaching global TB elimination targets, including the aspirational goals of Zero TB Deaths, Zero TB Disease and Zero Suffering ,” he adds.

As many studies have shown, migrants and their families have higher levels of TB-related morbidity and mortality, as they generally lack access to routine TB diagnostics and continuity of treatment.

The way in which many migrants travel, live and work can carry risks for their physical and mental well-being.  Many work in dangerous, difficult and demeaning (3D) jobs, and live in isolation and sub-standard housing. Others may be detained in over-crowded detention facilities, or live in camps as refugees or internally displaced persons. Migrants are thus among the vulnerable groups that face a particularly high level of TB risk factors. Consequently, migration can be considered as a social determinant of health.

As part of IOM’s on-going global health assessment programme for refugees and immigrants, IOM conducts screening for TB and provides a range of comprehensive services, including physical exams, radiological interventions, sputum smears and cultures and directly-observed-treatment (DOT), either directly or through a referral system in partnership with national TB programmes.

It has adopted several state-of-the-art TB diagnostic technologies, including digital radiology and drug susceptibility testing (DST.) In 2011 alone, IOM conducted approximately 270,000 health assessment exams in over sixty countries, detecting about 755 TB cases.

In partnership with WHO’s TB REACH programme, IOM is increasing TB case detection and treatment among migrants in Lao PDR, Thailand, Nepal, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana and Myanmar.

In Cambodia, for example, IOM works to detect and treat TB among vulnerable migrants at the Cambodia-Thai border. Many Cambodians cross the border into Thailand to support their families as low-skilled, undocumented migrant workers. But in Thailand their access to health care is limited, and their work and living conditions put them at risk of contracting TB and other health problems. IOM uses community health workers to reach out to these migrants to improve their access to TB diagnosis and treatment.

IOM is also an active member and co-chair of the Scientific Working Group on TB and Migration at the International Union against TB and Lung Disease (IUATLD), which brings together the WHO and other UN partners, governmental and non-governmental partners, and migrant associations to address the challenges of working on TB and migration.

This week, IOM is participating in a high-level event in Swaziland with the South African and Swazi Ministers of Health and UNAIDS’ Executive Director Michel Sidibé. (http://www.stoptb.org/assets/documents/news/Health%20leaders%20launch%201000%20day%20push%20to%20meet%20African%20tuberculosis%20and%20HIV%20targets.pdf)

At the event, “Towards Ending TB and the TB/HIV Co-epidemic in SADC Countries,” IOM will emphasize the cross-border dimensions of TB in light of regional mobility patterns and confirm its on-going commitment to ending TB, especially in the mining sector where many migrants work.

IOM also carries out TB programmes as part of its comprehensive emergency response. In Jordan, for example, IOM is working with the local health authorities on active TB detection, referral and TB awareness-raising services among Syrians refugees and host communities, in close coordination with UNHCR and WHO. From March 2012 to date, 41 TB cases have been detected and referred for treatment from a screened pool of 196,931 refugees, while over 63,000 Syrians have benefitted from TB awareness-raising sessions. 

“IOM’s experience has shown that not addressing the health of migrants has severe consequences for the well-being of millions of migrants and communities of origin, transit and destination. In the case of TB, migrants urgently need to be included in national and global TB prevention and control strategies. For the achievement of global health goals, it is therefore indispensable that migrants’ health is addressed in the post-2015 UN development framework, and the World Health Assembly Resolution 61.17 on the Health of Migrants is implemented in all countries,” says Ambassador Swing.

See for instance: Alimuddin Zumla, M.D., Ph.D., Mario Raviglione, M.D., Richard Hafner, M.D., and C. Fordham von Reyn, M.D. (2013): Current concepts – Tuberculosis; in: The New England Journal of Medecine, 2013;368:745-55. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMra1200894.