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White House to transfer Ebola funds to combat Zika virus

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is to announce Wednesday it will transfer leftover money from the largely successful fight against Ebola to combat the growing threat of the Zika virus, congressional officials say.

Roughly 75 percent of the $600 million or so would be devoted to the Centers for Disease Control, which is focused on research and development of anti-Zika vaccines, treating those infected with the virus and combating the mosquitoes that spread it. The rest would go to foreign aid accounts to fight the virus overseas.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter before the White House announcement.

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Foreign nationals from Ebola-affected countries can stay 6 more months

The Obama administration said Tuesday it will allow foreign nationals from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa to stay in the U.S. for another six months, even though global health officials said the outbreak that killed 11,000 people abroad is officially over.

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Two Ebola deaths and three suspected cases in Guinea 'flare-up'

World Health Organisation had just announced ‘milestone’ of no new infections in neighbouring Sierra Leone when latest fatalities came to light

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Treating Ebola with Plasma

During the Ebola outbreak of 1995 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, eight patients with Ebola were given blood transfusions from people who had recently recovered from Ebola. Seven of them survived.

The blood of people who have recently recovered from an infection contains antibodies that the body develops naturally to fight that infection. The transfusion of these antibodies into infected individuals (as whole blood, plasma, or concentrated antibodies) has a long history and has been proposed as a possible treatment for Ebola virus disease.

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How People Learn to Become Resilient

Perception is key to resilience: Do you conceptualize an event as traumatic, or as a chance to learn and grow? CREDIT ILLUSTRATION BY GIZEM VURAL

Image: Perception is key to resilience: Do you conceptualize an event as traumatic, or as a chance to learn and grow? CREDIT ILLUSTRATION BY GIZEM VURAL - February 11th 2016 - Maria Konnikova

Norman Garmezy, a developmental psychologist and clinician at the University of Minnesota, met thousands of children in his four decades of research. But one boy in particular stuck with him. He was nine years old, with an alcoholic mother and an absent father. 


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Building A More Resilient West Africa - How Open Innovation Can Help


Improving local health workers’ access to real-time health information will enable a faster and better response to global health threats. / Neil Brandvold, USAID - by Ann Mei Chang - February 11, 2016

. . . The next generation of health information systems have to not only quickly and accurately deliver the necessary information to healthcare workers, but they need to be able to communicate with each other. The wide range of people involved in combating epidemics such as Ebola need to be able to efficiently and seamlessly share information to ensure coordinated responses and better resource distribution. . . .

. . . To get the conversation started, USAID put out a call for innovative concepts for improving interoperability within health information systems in the developing world. We gathered over 40 organizations for a three-day co-creation workshop in Washington, D.C. in November. Almost 100 experts — including donors, engineers, software developers and implementers in the field — arrived to co-design a solution. . . .

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Community Resilience Center - Sri Lanka

Community Resilience Center is a community-based organization in Sri Lanka with the aim of promoting community level resilience to disasters.


A safe world where people will live in love, dignity and opportunities for growth.


To engage, enlighten and empower communities to promote resilience.


1.To promote continuous professional development of membership towards enhancing resilience.

2.To engage communities and all relevant stakeholders in an inclusive manner towards promotion of community resilience.

3.To promote the understanding and application of community resilience.

4.To develop, disseminate and evaluate tools and techniques to assess and enhance community resilience.

5.To innovate, implement and evaluate methods to improve community resilience.


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A Different Sort of Aid for Syria?


Some aid organisations are helping residents of Homs' Old City start over.  Photo: B. Diab/UNHCR

CLICK HERE - REPORT - UNDP - March 2015 - Syria - Alienation and Violence - Impact of Syria Crisis Report 2014 (66 page .PDF report) - by Charlotte Bailey

BEIRUT, 4 January 2016 (IRIN) - Given the brutality that has come to characterise Syria’s four-year war, it is understandable that discussion of the conflict has focused on violent deaths.

But there is another scourge destroying lives in the country: economic ruin and crippling poverty – what a UN-backed report called “an equally horrendous but silent disaster.”

Some aid organisations and policy experts are finding that with more than four out of five Syrians in poverty, traditional humanitarian aid, while necessary, just isn’t enough. So they’re advocating for, and implementing, livelihood projects – intervention to assist people’s abilities to support themselves.



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Psychological Resilience: State of Knowledge and Future Research Agendas

                        - by Rebecca Graber, Florence Pichon, Elizabeth Carabine - October 2015

This report investigates new insights in contemporary psychological resilience research. 

The paper draws on peer reviewed studies and articles examining how psychological resilience is built through protective mechanisms, evolves as a dynamic psychosocial process, and can be facilitated through positive adaptation. 

It aims to summarise the extent of the evidence, framed around the following questions:

CLICK HERE - Psychological Resilience: State of Knowledge and Future Research Agendas


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Over 1 Million Children Out Of School Due To Boko Haram Attacks: UN


Members of the Bring Back Our Girls group campaigning for the release of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram Islamists march to meet with the Nigerian president in Abuja, on July 8, 2015. Members of the BringBackOurGirls campaign group marched on July 8 to meet President Mohammadu Buhari to pressure him to end the deadly Boko Haram insurgency and free 219 schoolgirls held by the group since April 2014.  PHILIP OJISUA VIA GETTY IMAGES

UNICEF has been able to reach 67,000 students by setting up temporary learning spaces and renovating and expanding schools. - by Eleanor Goldberg - December 22, 2015

As Boko Haram continues to wage targeted attacks against civilians in northeastern Nigeria and its neighboring countries, more than 1 million children have been forced out of school -- a consequence that leaves them more susceptible to violence, poverty and child marriage. 

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